Baltic Fears: NATO Debates Directing Missile Shield against Russia

A US Patriot missile defense system is seen at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep. Zoom
REUTERS

A US Patriot missile defense system is seen at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep.

With fears of Moscow growing after its intervention in Ukraine, NATO member states in Eastern Europe would like NATO to direct a planned missile-defense system against Russia as well. The calls have divided the military alliance.

NATO officials are considering deploying a long-planned missile defense system -- aimed at protecting Europe from attacks from the Middle East -- against Russia as well, SPIEGEL has learned.

Calls for such an expansion to the system's remit, which is backed by the United States, are growing in Poland as well as in NATO member states Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. In the run-up to next week's NATO summit, the four countries called for the remaining members to agree on language at the summit that would pave the way for the plan. They feel threatened by Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

But the majority of NATO members, especially Germany, are opposed to the proposal, warning that it could result in an unnecessary provocation of Moscow. Representatives of these countries have warned that NATO has for years pledged to Russia that the missile defense system would not be directed at the country. Further debate on the issue has since been delayed until after the summit.

Hardliners did, however, succeed in pushing through one issue prior to the summit: The so-called reinsurance measures for Poland and the Baltic states -- the placement of four companies and an increase in the number of reconnaissance flights on NATO's eastern border -- will not automatically expire after one year as originally planned. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had demanded that the military action be re-approved by all NATO member states after one year. Ultimately, however, Berlin was alone in the position and abandoned its stance.

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1. Russian Reaction
aviator9152 08/25/2014
The world, led by the USA and elements of the EU are now coming dangerously close to prodding the Russian bear once too often. I have stated before on this site that I think that the level of economic sanctions was becoming threatening to Russia. If Russia is now threatened by military action then we are one very, very dangerous step closer to European war. I can't think of any country within the EU that would accept this level of provocation without responding. Please remember the USA sits 3000 miles away from Europe.
2. Russia-NATO standoff
arrotoxieta 08/25/2014
To understand why the situation is not going to improve in the next future, I would recommend the best article on the Ukrainian crisis I have read so far: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/eurocrisispress/2014/05/12/the-irreversible-crisis-of-the-ukrainian-experiment/ Admittedly long, but worth the effort. Far sighted, considering that it was published in May.
3.
peskyvera 08/25/2014
These people have nothing better to do, nothing more useful, than to spend time war/fear mongering? The EU is starting to feel the effects of Russia's sanctions - boomerang - and all these people can think of is more weapons, more wars? When is enough, enough? And you, Mrs. Merkel...I thought you more intelligent. Supporting Kiev's government which came to power through a US-manipulated putsch. So what is it: democracy or extremist right-wing government? We like democracy but when it suits you a putsch is OK too? Hasn't anyone realized what this is all about? The US purposely weakening the EU, eliminating competition. Capish?
4. Russia NATO
gorsky 08/25/2014
Putin has already crossed the line. He will not back off.
5.
gerhard38 08/25/2014
US-hardliners will finally get from NATO what they have been working for for years. With a missile shield, originally supposedly planned against missiles from Iran, the US military industrial complex will soon get their new cold war and enhanced government spending and resulting fat profits for the companies providing the hardware. When years ago still during the presidency of G.W.Bush Putin suggested a cooperation and sharing of existing russian radar stations with the west, the US refused to cooperate. Hardliners like John McCain would "read in Putins eyes only only KGB". Opportunities to cooperate were avoided due to self aggrandizement and arrogance. Russian security concerns were blatantly disregarded and promises not to extend NATO to the east repeatedly broken. The USA as the number one power since the fall of the Soviet Union has been a disaster and disappointment and NATO under US guidance has mutated into a willing vassal supporting all the imperial efforts of the US. It is disgusting and appalling to see the west in action under US guidance.
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