US 'having hard time' forcing EU to deploy troops near Russian borders

Jun 13, 2016 12:00 AM

The attitude of NATO countries toward the planned deployment of troops in the Baltic States is far from united. There is a fierce debate going on in the alliance, with the United States literally struggling to coerce European states to strengthen military presence in the east, German magazine Focus Online wrote.

NATO is currently carrying out one of the biggest military maneuvers since the Cold War. The Anaconda War Games, viewed as a response to alleged "Russian aggression," are taking place in Poland and involve over 30,000 NATO troops.

Estonian activist Dmitry Linter is confident that the purpose of the statements about "possible Russian aggression" against the Baltic States is to create hysteria against Russia.

"This pressure is aimed at obtaining military budgets, creating a zone of instability around Russia and undermining the relations between Russia and the European Union," Linter told Russian newspaper Vzglyad.

In fact, there are very few people who believe that Russia is planning to attack the Baltics, Linter continued.

"Basically it is a political move, driven by the need to create a simulation that Russia constitutes a threat and that the Baltic countries could be forced to give up their independence," he stressed.

Despite the absurdity of such claims, they are very helpful to justify the presence of NATO troops in the Baltic region, Linter argued, adding that those who oppose NATO's presence are having hard times.

"Yesterday there was a protest in Tallinn, a picket in front of the Polish embassy against the expansion of NATO and the intervention of NATO structures in the activities of public organizations. The picket was sabotaged: the police found the initiator and detained him," the activist explained.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing debate inside the military alliance about what kind of strategy NATO should pursue in the near future, German magazine Focus Online reported. While the United States and the Baltic countries are trying to counterweight the alleged "Russian aggression," Western Europe calls for a more active involvement in Africa and the Middle East in order to eliminate the causes of the current refugee crisis.

"Where there seems to be a consensus, the fierce debate is actually going on behind closed doors. According to diplomats, the Americans are having hard times to force European countries to strengthening NATO troops in the east," the magazine wrote.

The reason behind such an indecisive stance in the EU is first of all the current migration crisis. Western European countries openly advocate for operations in Africa and the Middle East in order to eliminate the causes of the growing refugee inflow, the article said.

At the same time, some NATO members — such as Italy and France — are gradually cutting their defense spending. This, in turn, causes resentment among US conservative politicians who slam European countries for their readiness to accept Washington's protection without making any contributions and providing financial support, the magazine wrote.

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