Management of North Atlantic Alliance published the document which is urged to “set the record straight” in relations of Russia and NATO. So, it’s not declaration of war, of course, but it’s not peace as well.
"Aggression of Russia against Ukraine led to the international isolation of Russia, including full stop of practical cooperation with NATO. To distract attention from own actions Russia put forward a number of charges against NATO which is based on incorrect interpretation of facts and losing sight of constant efforts of NATO on development of partnership with Russia. Russia also acted with groundless attacks on legitimacy of the authorities of Ukraine and used force for capture of part of the territory of Ukraine. This document will “set the record straight"”, — is stated in the document.
As for expansion of NATO to the east which Moscow actively opposes, North Atlantic Alliance reminds that "the European states made choice to apply for membership on the basis of democratic process and respect of rule of law".
"Expansion of NATO and the EU helped countries of the Central and Eastern Europe to start difficult reforms which were required to be carried out before joining. It helped citizens of those countries to get advantages of democratic choice, rule of law and essential economic growth. Thanks to those efforts Europe, more than ever earlier, came nearer to being whole, free and peace," — military men from Brussels assure.
NATO answered to the claim of Russia regarding the fact that in 1990 official representatives of the USA and Germany, allegedly, promised that NATO wouldn't be extended in the Eastern and the Central Europe, wouldn’t create military infrastructure near the borders of Russia or to deploy armies there. "There was no such obligation and no proofs supporting the Russian claims were provided," — NATO assured.
Then military men in details examined each military operations which Moscow opposed. In particular, as for bombardments of Libya NATO reminded that "resolution of UNSC of 1973 authorized NATO "to take all necessary measures" for "protection of civilian population and places of its accommodation which are under the threat of attack". Campaign in Kosovo was carried out the same way, namely, "after exhaustive discussion with participation of all international community".
As for the Crimea, NATO declares that Russia "bypassed all international community, including the UN and simply occupied part of the territory of other state without confirmation of crisis and without attempts to discuss the decision".
From editorial board: It’s senseless to polemize with semi-official organ of NATO, actually, the document is acknowledgement, discussions are over, actions begin.
Though there are a lot of questions - why, for example, there was aggression in the Crimea, but nobody died, while "peace" revolution in Kiev carried away not less than 100 lives (according to other data more than 700) and it is welcomed, it is lawful and legitimate. Why they don't admit that essential part of Ukraine (first of all Ukraine) doesn't recognize this new power? While "occupation" of the Crimea took place peacefully and without any shot as the vast majority of inhabitants of the Crimea wanted it?
All military actions of NATO abounded with loss of human life that doesn't prevent management of NATO to speak: "Europe, more than ever earlier, came nearer to being whole, free and peace". That is for the first time after World War II not forces of NATO bombed the European capital Belgrad and the whole European country, the member of the UN Yugoslavia didn't disappear thanks to the efforts of NATO? As for wars in Libya and Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria - how could events in those countries threaten members of NATO? After all North Atlantic Alliance under the charter is a defensive alliance!
If NATO has something to do with the events in Ukraine which is not the member of NATO? How events in Ukraine threaten members of Alliance? Or NATO already assumes function of the world gendarme?
Though it’s pure rhetoric which doesn't have any relation to reality. Policy of Vladimir Putin led to that NATO at last got worthy enemy for the sake of which is possible to reanimate organization which has already become obsolete and, the main thing, to increase military budgets sharply, having shared financial burdens between all members of the Alliance. "Forbes" claims that in 2012 27 European countries of NATO spent 319 billion dollars on their armed forces, whereas Moscow - 91 billion. It was in 2012, when the Russian Federation was "exclusive partner" of NATO. Probably, now this sum will be reasonably increased that will be hardly pleasant to the European taxpayers, thought they were shown the Russian threat on TV.
In reality the European members of NATO have only two serious armies - British and Turkish and it would be possible not to worry if America won’t increase its military expenses. Russia as before the Crimean war has no reliable allies. The phrase "before war" isn't casual, it is very likely that Putin's western friends passed that boundary when game turns into a real fight. Growing investments into defense industry will demand more and more convincing bases and in the end it will end with full-scale war.
Readiness of Russia for big war as always before big war is insufficient, we need two – three years for modernization of army. It was so before proto-world Crimean war, it was so in Japanese war, in the World War I and World War II that made it Domestic, we planned to be at war in others territory.
Despite symmetric degradation of the European armies, things in the Russian army aren't so good as we’d like. The fighter of the fifth generation isn't finished. Sea component of strategic nuclear forces isn't re-weaponed. Rocket armies of the strategic role aren't re-weaponed. Tank Armata exists while only in computer games. Surface fleet is weak, aircraft carrier consider almost totally absent. Level of aero mobility of land forces is at the level of Third World countries. Mobilization reserve as formed unit is also almost absent... It is possible to continue for long. There are also positive moments, there are a lot of them, but we need more for big war or its prevention. Weakness is always cause of war - our weakness. When we are strong, nobody touch us.
Putin got absorbed in playing. Got fascinated. He lost criticality, speaking simply he grew insolent. Why not?? He bent opposition, nobody can peep. He overcame Georgia. He won the Crimea without any shot, exclusively by magic action of new regimentals for torn-off Ukrainian fighters. Delights of NATO generals concerning fighting capacity of the Russian army entice, flatter. Say, Putin is the most powerful guy in the world and the Russian army, it appears, is super duper!
It will tell you, it leads to war. I hope to be wrong. Though the wheel got untwisted, no spokes are visible any more.
Think – British soldier don't clean weapon with the help of bricks...
ánatoly Baranov, reservist