NATO is Beefing Up the Baltics: Huge Military Upgrades For Rapid Deployment of US Troops Underway
Viktor Murakhovsky, public character: As for real actions by NATO. It's now following the strategy of moving forward by small steps. They have a battalion and a tactical group in every Baltic country. They have just four aircraft in Estonia and Lithuania. They have just two missile defense complexes, one of them is in Romania and the other is in Poland. They decided to have one American brigade in Poland on a rotational basis. They decided to increase the fleet of the NATO countries near the Black Sea, I mean Romania and Bulgaria. They decided to give several ships to Ukraine almost for free. They decided to yet again provide $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine. They're gradually investing about $1 billion in the development of the military infrastructure of the Baltic countries and Poland. First of all, they're building air bases, communication hubs, ports so that the arriving troops could disembark, and so on.
This policy keeps on going. By 2020, there'll be 30 battalions of tactical groups, and 30 squadrons, all rapidly deployable. They're gradually coming back to Norway. Not long ago, six American strategic bombers arrived at the air base in Britain and performed flights to practice attacks on Russia every day. They did it in the airspace above Norway's Barents Sea and the Black Sea. Then, they intensified reconnaissance flights in the Black Sea near the Crimean border, in the Baltic region, in the north. The NATO countries have significantly intensified them compared to 2010.
They're gradually building up their military potential and the military threat with it like this. Even sudden incidents due to either technical or human error are constantly becoming more possible. It's unclear where the red line for us is.
Evgeny Satanovsky, Head of the Middle East Institute: The situation has been known well for a long time. When in some country, Poland or Germany for example, there are our troops, its establishment…
— Nobody attacks it.
— Surprisingly happily participates in the Warsaw Pact. Everything was fine. In 1985, it was renewed for 20 more years. But in 1991, it was disbanded because of Mr. Gorbachev. That's why we don't have any illusions about how strong the NATO bloc is, how the relations between the Western countries and the United States are. The NATO topic is insanely interesting. Actually, it would have been cheaper to accept the USSR into NATO in 1955. We have experience…
— We asked for it but they refused.
— Yes. We have experience because of the incident between us and Turkey. We were on the verge of war. I didn't notice either NATO or the United States becoming more active in Syria or anywhere else at that moment and coming to Turkey's aid. The saddest part of it is that Erdogan, first and foremost, noticed it. After that, everything began: the S-400 systems and many other things. We already had Saakashvili, who was absolutely sure that NATO would come to his aid. As a result of the Russo-Georgian War, started by him, Georgia lost at least Abkhazia and South Ossetia. So, we've seen the first episodes of that long, misanthropic show. We're going to see the next ones, such is life.
— Okay, I'll ask you two short questions which you don't even have to answer. NATO claims that it's a defensive organization. What is the sole country in the world that possesses nuclear weapons and also has the idea of a pre-emptive nuclear strike in its military theory? Which one? Russia? No. It's the sole country in the world that has used that weapon. Let me remind you that they used it not against military targets. They've never apologized for that in a manner that anybody could understand and see. And here's another simple question. On the territories of which countries are there real missile defense zones? Russia? Yes. In the USA, yes, there's a large, complex defense system. How is Europe protected from missiles? How is Europe protected from missiles? Can Europe really defend itself from a missile strike? Then, what do you pay Americans for? For them to be able to defend themselves? Oh, that's an awkward question, of course. You have no right to ask such questions. Your masters don't let you.