Sunday, November 28

Dispute between NATO and Russia: Dangerous silence

Status: 01.11.2021 6:57 p.m.

The NATO-Russia Council has been on hold for a long time – now the last formal contact has also been broken off: Russia has closed its representation at the headquarters of the Alliance, the NATO offices in Moscow are orphaned.

By Christina Nagel, ARD Studio Moscow

Contacts broken – and that at a time when tensions are mounting. Russian television let pictures do the talking today. The NATO offices in Moscow are orphaned. The large door plates were made unrecognizable with white tape.

Christina Nagel
ARD studio Moscow

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was no way of knowing what the alliance would do now. “We are based on facts. And the facts say that NATO does not want to work with us.”

The risk of escalation increases

One of the most important communication channels, the NATO-Russia Council, has been largely on hold for a long time. As of today, the Russian mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels officially ceased its work. In fact, there is no longer any direct contact at the diplomatic level.

“If NATO has a reason to turn to us, we have an ambassador in Belgium who is responsible for bilateral relations,” Lavrov said. Russia has notified NATO that signals can be sent to these diplomats if the worst comes to the worst.

It’s a dangerous development. Because with every contact that is lost, the risk of unintentional escalation increases. In the past few weeks, ships and aircraft from Russia and the Alliance have come dangerously close on several occasions.

Public regret

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a US warship had just entered the Black Sea. And it sounded like a threat: “We can watch it with binoculars – or through the crosshairs of an appropriate defense system.”

Both sides publicly regret the broken relationship and complain that the relationship is worse than it was during the Cold War. The blame for this can of course be seen on the other side.

The Kremlin sees the new NATO strategy to deter Russia strengthened in its stance that the alliance was never about cooperation. Even if the tones were peaceful, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “It is an aggressive bloc that regards us as opponents.”

Maneuvers in the Black Sea

Moscow categorically rejects criticism of its own role. Regardless of whether it is about new missile and weapon systems that NATO considers dangerous, or troop concentrations and maneuvers along NATO borders and in the Black Sea. Just react, said Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shojgu. Therefore, a new military doctrine is now being worked on.

Dangerous silence: Russia and NATO

Christina Nagel, ARD Moscow, November 1, 2021 6:06 p.m.

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