NATO will not let Russia dictate its military posture, Germany says

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By Reuters
NATO will not let Russia dictate its military posture, Germany says
NATO will not let Russia dictate its military posture, Germany says   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">RUKLA</span>, Lithuania – <span class="caps">NATO</span> will discuss Russia’s security proposals but it will not let Moscow dictate the alliance’s military posture, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Sunday on a visit to German troops based in Lithuania to deter a Russian attack.</p> <p>On Friday, Moscow set out a list of demands for the West that includes withdrawing <span class="caps">NATO</span> battalions from Poland and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, once part of the Soviet Union.</p> <p>Russia is also demanding a legally binding guarantee that <span class="caps">NATO</span> will give up any military activity in Eastern Europe and Ukraine and an effective Russian veto on future <span class="caps">NATO</span> membership for Ukraine – which the West has already ruled out. </p> <p>“We need to solve the current tensions on the diplomatic level but just as well by putting up a credible deterrence,” Lambrecht told reporters in Rukla on her first visit to German troops abroad.</p> <p>The combat units, deployed three years after Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea in 2014, are meant to stall an assault and buy time for additional <span class="caps">NATO</span> troops to arrive at the frontline.</p> <p>“We will discuss Russia’s proposals…But it cannot be that Russia dictates to <span class="caps">NATO</span> partners their posture, and that is something that we will make very clear in the talks (next week at the <span class="caps">NATO</span> council),” she added.</p> <p>The West has threatened harsh economic sanctions on Russia should Moscow escalate its military build-up on Ukraine’s border. Moscow says it is only responding to threats to its security from Kyiv’s increasingly close relations with <span class="caps">NATO</span>.</p> <p>Speaking alongside Lambrecht on Sunday, Lithuania’s Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas accused Russia of trying to drive a wedge into the alliance, and said <span class="caps">NATO</span> must not allow Moscow to divide Europe into spheres of influence.</p> <p>“We need to support Ukraine with all means, which includes the delivery of lethal weapons,” Anusauskas added, without giving details on what kind of weapons he meant.</p> <p>Lambrecht declined to comment on a report by Spiegel on Saturday that <span class="caps">NATO</span>’s top general Tod Wolters had suggested the alliance should establish a similar military presence as in Poland and the Baltic states in Bulgaria and Romania.</p> <p/> </div>