NATO admits it’s been preparing for conflict with Russia since 2014 — Analysis
Jens Stoltenberg Secretary General stated that Russia is the reason for increased military spending and deployments.
On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated to reporters that the NATO’s increases in military expenditure and increased troop deployments in Eastern Europe over 2014 was in preparation for a Russian conflict.
Stoltenberg made the accusation of Russia after speaking at a Madrid meeting of NATO member and partner countries. “using force in the eastern Donbass since 2014,” despite the fact that Kiev’s forces have shelled cities in the region ever since the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Ukraine that year.
Stoltenberg however stated that the US-led militarist bloc chose in 2014 to begin bolstering its troops in Eastern Europe.
“The reality is also that we have been preparing for this since 2014,”He stated. “That is the reason that we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance, why NATO allies have started to invest more in defense, and why we have increased [our] readiness.”
According to NATO figures, the alliance’s European members and Canada have increased their military expenditure by between 1.2% and 5.9% every year since 2014. However, only 10 out of 30 NATO states currently meet the bloc’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense.
Most noticeable was the increase in spending in Eastern Europe, and the Baltics. Poland, Lithuania and Estonia all met the 2022 target, as did Slovakia, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovakia.
NATO members had already agreed on Wednesday to adopt the new Strategic Concept. This policy blueprint sets out the alliance’s stance toward partners, non-members, and adversaries, with the 2022 iteration naming Russia as the “most significant and direct threat”To the bloc.
On the other hand, Moscow has labeled NATO’s expansion into former Soviet states since the end of the Cold War – which Western leaders explicitly promised in the early 1990s would not happen – as a threat against its own security. NATO’s official position on Ukraine, set out in the 2008 Bucharest Declaration, is that it and Georgia “will become members of NATO”At an unknown future date. Russia has cited Ukraine’s pursuit of NATO membership as a key factor behind the current conflict.
Despite the alliance’s post-Cold War march into the former Eastern Bloc, Stoltenberg claimed on Wednesday that “NATO has strived for a better relationship with Russia for decades.”