Is Russia finally ready to sit down with the NATO alliance to address issues? Moscow has just extended an invitation to several NATO military experts to discuss the military and political issues affecting Europe in September.
The invitation may surprise many, considering the developments surrounding Russia’s borders. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently confirmed that the alliance will be deploying four robust multinational battalions to certain states in the Baltic region, including Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. To make this happen, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada have agreed to provide as much as 1,000 troops each.
At the same time, missile defense sites are also being established in both Poland and Romania. NATO and the U.S. have conducted a number of military exercises to maintain response readiness. Russia had remained vocal about its displeasure toward all of NATO’s recent actions.
Recently, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov confirmed that NATO’s military experts are scheduled to visit Moscow in September to discuss the military and political situation surrounding Europe. Antonov told reporters that among the issues that will be raised during their visit is the need for military flights to use transponders whenever they are flying over the Baltics.
Aside from this, Sputnik reports that Russia is also keen to hold some military consultations with the various defense ministries of Poland, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Finland. The goal here is “to address mutual concerns related to military activities in the border areas.”
At the same time, Antonov said that the Russian Defense Ministry is conducting thorough analysis of the decisions made recently by the NATO alliance in Warsaw. He explained that Russia had proposed a “positive program” to improve relations between the country and NATO. This way, they could “de-escalation of tensions and to prevent armed incidents on the contact line between the armed forces of the parties.”