Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO Secretary General, says in an editorial in Politico that European leaders should not negotiate with Vladimir Putin as long as he threatens them with a gun to the head.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO Secretary General, says in an editorial in Politico that this is not the first time the Kremlin leader has tried to disband NATO. “When I first met with Russian President Vladimir Putin as NATO Secretary General, he opened the discussion by telling me that he wanted to dissolve NATO,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“If NATO allies negotiate Russia’s latest proposals for a new security relationship in Europe, they will directly help it move closer to achieving its goal, giving Russia control over the security of Central and Eastern Europe. Under Russia’s new proposals, NATO should seek Moscow’s consent to deploy troops to Central and Eastern Europe, refrain from “any military activity” in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and stop any exercises. NATO close to Russia. The Kremlin also demands a written guarantee that Ukraine will not be granted NATO membership, and that the United States will not be allowed to send warships and aircraft into “areas where they may strike targets on the other side’s territory.” Baltic Sea and Black Sea. This is not a serious proposal for a man who wants peace, “warns the former NATO chief.

Vladimir Putin plays bluff

Anders Fogh Rasmussen also told NATO members it was time to see Putin’s bluff. “Russia has tried this exercise before. In November 2009, NATO rejected a draft European Security Treaty proposed by Russia, as the NATO-Russia relationship is already sufficiently covered and regulated in the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, the Charter for European Security of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. (OSCE) 1999 and the Rome Declaration of 2002 – the latter took significant steps to accommodate Russia and encourage dialogue through the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council.

Putin is adept at creating crises only to extinguish them later, like a firefighter trying to put out his own fire, and threatening to invade Ukraine, has calculated that the US and other Western powers could negotiate directly with the Kremlin – possibly without Eastern European and Baltic allies – offering concessions and allowing them to maintain their influence over the former Soviet countries in exchange for peace.

Putin plays a bad hand well, but his tactics will only work if we give up. And it’s time for NATO to see Putin’s bluff. Under no circumstances should the US or NATO commit to future, real or de facto enlargement. Russia has already signed the 1999 OSCE Charter, which gives “the inherent right of each participating state to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including alliance treaties, as they evolve.”

It also means putting an end to Putin’s de facto veto on the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia, which has been instigated by conflicts in these countries, the intensity of which is rising and falling as dictated by his agenda. We promised both Georgia and Ukraine seats at the NATO table in 2008 and it is time to establish an action plan to deliver on our promise. If necessary, we can do this on the condition that NATO Article 5 covers only the territory controlled by Kiev and Tbilisi, but NATO cannot have an enlargement policy that allows Putin to act as a goalkeeper, “said Rasmussen. .

Anders Fogh Rasmussen says NATO cannot negotiate with a gun. “Will Putin invade Ukraine? Only he really knows. But if it does, we must send significant military aid to Ukraine and launch economic sanctions that will paralyze the Russian economy, including the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Ukrainians are a hardened people fighting to fight for freedom a large part of Europe has considered it guaranteed, and we in the free world should have no illusions that they are also fighting for our freedom. History tells us that aggressors tend not to stay in their neighborhoods.

NATO cannot negotiate at gunpoint

NATO is an alliance of peace. He only wants peaceful co-operation with Russia and has sought to include Moscow in talks on European security architecture. But that cooperation has been hampered by Putin’s behavior. Even when Russia broke the rules-based international order in 2014, we continued to seek dialogue. Dialogue is important, but it must be on our terms, admitting that we are not negotiating on the basis of threats and escalation.

NATO cannot negotiate at gunpoint. And if we go back now, that signal will be heard loud and clear by both the democracies that rely on us and the autocrats that criticize and fear our freedom.

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