NATO’s chief of staff in Europe has suggested that the alliance should increase its military presence in Romania and Bulgaria after deploying Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, Reuters reports, citing German publication Der Spiegel.
According to this information, the proposals were made by Tod Wolters, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe. Der Spiegel does not cite Wolters directly, but says he has information that the general has called for a “reinforcement of NATO’s eastern border troops” during a video conference with the military leaders of the partner countries.
The plan would “strengthen NATO’s presence in Romania and Bulgaria through NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission”, on the basis of which the alliance has established its military presence in the Baltic states and eastern Poland.
NATO declined to comment on information released by Der Spiegel.
Increasing NATO’s presence in Romania and Bulgaria is a thing demanded by the governments of both countries. On Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO “will constantly assess the need to adjust our position and presence, especially in the south-east of the region, because we must be sure that we can always protect and defend our allies from any threat. ”.
Russia’s military operations near the border with Ukraine have exacerbated tensions between Moscow and NATO, with Western intelligence suspects that Putin is planning an invasion of Ukraine.
Russia denies such a plan, but says it is threatened by NATO in Eastern Europe and has sent the Alliance a list of demands that the Kremlin says could reduce tensions in the region.
NATO-Russia tensions have been steadily rising in recent weeks
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday that the United States is ready for dialogue with Russia on its demands and that US diplomacy will present its own concerns about the crisis in Ukraine. He also said that the latest assessment by the US government shows that Vladimir Putin has not yet made the decision to invade Ukraine.
Russia announced on Friday that it wants legal guarantees from NATO that the Alliance will no longer be involved in Eastern Europe and Ukraine and that it will give up all military activity in the region as part of an ambitious “wish list” that he wants to negotiate with the West.
The list of demands forms a package that Moscow says is essential to reduce tensions in Europe and defuse the crisis in Ukraine after the West accused Russia of preparing for an invasion of the neighboring country.
Basically, Russia wants to have a veto power over a possible entry of Ukraine into NATO, a requirement that has already been rejected by Western countries.
Editor: Adrian Dumitru