segunda-feira, 7 de julho de 2014

NATO: "the Russia does not behave as a partner"

Euronews: there are more than five years that is the Secretary General of NATO. How do you evaluate the security situation in Europe in recent months?

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: the situation has changed a lot. The illegal military actions of Russia in Ukraine are an alert. They reminded us that we cannot take security for granted. So we have to adapt to this new situation.

Euronews: President Putin said this week that he could not let NATO forces enter in the Crimea, which was why the annexed. Took into consideration these concerns Russia's security?

Rasmussen: we never had the intention of sending NATO troops to Crimea. Therefore, it is a bad excuse to justify an illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. There's no excuse. The Russia is violating of blatant way all international commitments, as well as all the fundamental principles of the NATO-Russia cooperation.

Euronews: do you think there's still a Russia's involvement in Eastern Ukraine? And as you can see this impasse armed?

Rasmussen: there is no doubt that Russia is heavily involved in destabilizing the East of Ukraine. They allow a flow of weapons, equipment and even of combatants across the border with Ukraine. We appeal to Russia to stop supporting the separatist groups. And we asked Russia to withdraw troops to the border with Ukraine. We have seen recently a new concentration of Russian troops in the border region.

Euronews: NATO is to increase its presence in the vicinity of Russia?

Rasmussen: We increased aerial surveillance over the three Baltic States, sent ships to the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, we had more exercises in Poland and in the Baltic States. Therefore, there is a greater NATO presence at sea, in the air and on the ground. It's not an offensive. Is purely defensive, in order to ensure effective protection of our allies.

Euronews. As described in Russia. As a partner or now more as an opponent?

Rasmussen: in fact, we spent more than 20 years to build a relationship with Russia, but I have to say that this country does not behave as a partner. And we can see Russian military documents that consider NATO an opponent. And of course we have to adapt to it.

Euronews: what lessons should be drawn from Russia's military tactics in the face of Ukraine?

Rasmussen: we saw Russian armed forces act very quickly. Most modern forces compared to those that attacked Georgia in 2008. And this is one of the reasons which leads me to ask NATO allies to increase defense spending and to speed up the modernization of our armed forces. In the last five years, Russia has increased defence spending in 50%, while the NATO countries, on average, decreased defense spending in 20%. Of course, this is not sustainable. What we saw in Ukraine was a change and now it's time to stop the cuts, reverse the trend and gradually increase spending on defense.

Euronews: we're talking about the security in Europe. What kind of threat comes from the Sunni group which controls parts of Iraq and Syria. What NATO can do?

Rasmussen: Repeat. NATO is concentrated on the defense and protection of our allies. Therefore, we sent Patriot missiles to Turkey, to protect the country against possible missile attacks from Syria, but of course the situation in the region is cause for great concern. Is public that the Iraqi Government asked for help from the NATO allies.

Euronews: there are planes of Iran and Russia to operate alongside American appliances. This means that NATO is already working with these countries?

Rasmussen: it is not NATO as an Alliance, but individual NATO allies that are involved. We now see how the international community as such is concerned about this situation and with the spread of extremism and terrorism. This requires a response from the international community, one beyond the traditional divisions.

Euronews: what was your biggest achievement as Secretary General of NATO?

Rasmussen: we have a NATO stronger, fitter and faster. Despite the cuts in defence budgets, we have a much stronger Alliance today. Because of the operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and elsewhere, our military is now prepared to work and operate together. Are more strongly connected and more ready for combat than ever before. At the same time we invest in new capacity. Among other things, we began to build the anti-missile defense. We also strengthen our Cyber defences. Therefore, I think we've eliminated the fat and gained muscle. Therefore, NATO today is much stronger.

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