Times are tense and confusing. At a time when nations are tiptoeing around Russian aggression comes a Germany who now claims there is value in NATO’s increasing investment along the Russian border. Is Germany trading Russia for NATO in times of war?
Germany Sides with NATO
German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the defense of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on its efforts to increase troop presence along the Russian border. According to Merkel, the deterrence measures are necessary. The statement came at a time when Germans are nervous about any confrontation with Russia and perceived military threat.
Merkel referred to NATO’s plans involving four new battalions in Poland and the Baltic countries as a “deeply defensive concept.” Nonetheless, this does not mean Germany will stop seeking better alliance and dialogue with Russia.
“Deterrence and dialogue,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Merkel, “are not contradictions, no, they belong inextricably together.”
Merkel spoke to Germany’s lower house of parliament before the Warsaw meeting this Friday and Saturday. The meeting is expected to give new light to NATO’s new deterrence plans, including a battalion to be headed by Germany.
Is Russia a Real Threat?
As to the question whether Russia is a threat to the Baltic States, it is important to consider how NATO and Russia relations have degraded after the annexation of Crimea. These days, the relations seem to have reached an all-time low, thus contributing to the tensions.
Russia appears to have created a reputation for interfering in other countries, so NATO fears it will also do the same in the Baltic countries and Poland.
“We need a credible deterrence policy in the Baltic region to influence the Russian calculus to make the costs of interference too high,” Philly quoted Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves last May. It is unclear whether things will lead to a Cold War, as analysts remain split on the matter. However, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev may have a different opinion.
“We have slid back to a new Cold War,” the official said.