The Guardian June 13, 2001


NATO: intentions towards Russia

At a recent NATO meeting in Spain NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson 
warned that NATO should be wary of developments in Russia, and that 
peacekeepers (his words) must be able to "hit hard in response to regional 
conflicts".

Robertson noted that the continued instability in the Balkans and a 
prosperity gap between eastern and western areas of the continent mean that 
"Europe is unfinished business. Now, as in post-war years, the difficult 
question poses itself as to how a major power  then Germany, now Russia -
- will settle in the newly emerging system.

"As in the post-war years, we must develop a combination of political, 
economic and security tools which are required to cope with the new 
challenges at hand", Robertson said.

NATO's chief said that while NATO had "redefined" its relationship with 
Russia and created "a more mature alliance, military options should not 
take a back seat to other forms of conflict management".

As to how NATO "peacekeepers" should act Robertson said, "today, we need 
armed forces who can move fast, adjust quickly to changing requirements, 
hit hard, and then stay in theatre for as long as it takes to get the job 
done".

It used to be called war-mongering  now it's been redefined as 
peacekeeping. The positive aspect in what Robertson said, however, is the 
fact that he no longer talked about humanitarian missions and such like. 
NATO's intentions of "hitting hard" at least calls a spade a spade. That's 
what its role has been and still is.

Thank you, Mr Robinson for spelling it out.

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