- Borislav Ivanov
Russia will not 'dictate' to NATO, according to Germany's military minister
On a visit to German troops in Lithuania on Sunday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht stated that NATO will debate Russia's suggestions for the alliance's military operations on its eastern frontier, but it will not allow Moscow to "dictate" its security matters.
On Friday, Moscow issued a list of military demands to the United States and its allies.
These demands included withdrawing NATO's enhanced forward presence battalions from the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which were previously occupied by Russia during the Soviet period, as well as Poland, where Moscow had asserted leverage when Warsaw was a communist satellite state under Soviet tutelage.
Furthermore, Moscow demands a formal assurance that NATO will stop military operations in Eastern Europe and Ukraine, therefore giving Russia a de facto veto against Ukraine's NATO membership. NATO has previously suspended Ukraine's membership while providing security support and military advisers.
On her first visit as defense minister, Lambrecht stated in Rukla, Lithuania, "We have to talk to each other, which entails considering the suggestions that Russia has put out," adding, "But Russia cannot dictate to NATO countries how they position themselves."
"We need to settle the current difficulties diplomatically, but we also need to put up a credible deterrence," Lambrecht added.
Arvydas Anusauskas, Lithuania's Defense Minister, stated that NATO must continue to reject Moscow's efforts to split Europe into zones of influence.
"We need to help Ukraine with every means, including the transfer of lethal weaponry," he declared beside Lambrecht, without going into detail.
Western nations have warned Russia with harsh economic consequences if the crisis in Ukraine escalates further. Russia has stated repeatedly that it is concerned about Kyiv's growing ties with NATO and Western states.