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NATO Official: Russia is Now NATO’s Adversary

May 2, 2014 (EIRNS)—It’s official. Russia is now an "adversary" of NATO. Alexander Vershbow, the deputy secretary general of NATO, made the announcement, yesterday, in Washington. "Clearly the Russians have declared NATO as an adversary, so we have to begin to view Russia no longer as a partner but as more of an adversary than a partner," he said, according to AP. "In Central Europe, clearly we have two different visions of what European security should be like," Vershbow said. "We still would defend the sovereignty and freedom of choice of Russia’s neighbors, and Russia clearly is trying to re-impose hegemony and limit their sovereignty under the guise of a defense of the Russian world." He added that for the time being, NATO’s defensive measures would not be in violation of the 1997 agreement with Russia not to station substantial numbers of troops in Eastern Europe (or nuclear weapons, the Associated Press usefully notes) but Russia broke its side of the agreement by violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, therefore, "we would be within our rights now" to set aside the 1997 commitment by permanently stationing substantial numbers of combat troops in Poland or other NATO member nations in Eastern Europe, he said.

Meanwhile, NATO’s push towards Russia’s western border continues. The official handover ceremony of the NATO air policing mission in the Baltics took place yesterday, with the Poles and the Brits taking over command from the U.S. at Lithuania’s Siauliai air base. NATO troop movements into the Baltics continue uninterrupted, with 100 British ground troops arriving in Estonia, earlier this week, to participate in exercises, and U.S. ships moving around in the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The frigate U.S.S. Taylor is still in the Black Sea, and the destroyer USS Carney is in the Eastern Mediterranean, having just left a port call in southwest Turkey.