Russians Criticize NATO’s Actions In Eastern Europe

Russian media and users on social networking sites say NATO isn't helping prevent conflict

Norwegian and Italian Air Force fighters patrol over the Baltics in 2015. — REUTERS
Nov 13, 2016 at 2:30 PM ET

Russian media and users on social networking sites are slamming NATO’s secretary-general and criticizing NATO for reportedly raising the readiness of its troops in Eastern Europe.

In an opinion piece published in The Guardian on Saturday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discussed NATO’s recent actions in eastern Europe. He said there’s been a deterioration of security over the last few years “with a more assertive Russia” and turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. “Nato allies have responded together. We have implemented the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the cold war,” he wrote. “And the United States has significantly strengthened its commitment to European security, deploying a new armoured brigade to eastern Europe and delivering equipment and supplies to support future reinforcements if needed.”

“This is deterrence, not aggression,” he wrote. “We do not seek to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict.”

Stoltenberg’s remarks sparked anger on social media, where hundreds of Russians across Facebook, Twitter, and Russia’s largest social networking site Vkontakte slammed NATO and its secretary-general. “NATO says in black and white that apparently moving troops to the borders of Russia is NATO’s way to ‘prevent a conflict’ with Russia. What a cynical casuistry,” Alexey Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, tweeted on Sunday.

Earlier this week, Stoltenberg indicated that hundreds of thousands of NATO troops will go on an increased state of alert, amid Russian acts of aggression, The Sunday Times reported.

Translation: “Those are NATO’s bases across the world, so who is threatening who”

Translation: “NATO’s way to prevent conflicts – do what you are told to do and there will be no conflict…”