"Russian threat is greatly exaggerated" - Paul Robinson

"Russian threat is greatly exaggerated" - Paul Robinson | Русская весна

Today NATO summit will be kicked off in Brussels. U.S. President Donald Trump is also expected to attend a summit of leaders of NATO nations.

Trump has made key European allies nervous with his demands that they increase defense spending and his talk of establishing an alliance with Russia to counter Islamic State militants.

"The president looks forward to meeting with his NATO counterparts to reaffirm our strong commitment to NATO, and to discuss issues critical to the alliance, especially allied responsibility-sharing and NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism," a White House statement said.

Paul Robinson, Professor on Public and International affairs at Ottawa University commented on NATO summit in Brussels.

Q: From your opinion, what kind of important matters are expected to be discussed by members of NATO during the Brussels summit?

A: As well as Russia, which has dominated the last couple of summits, it’s possible that there will be discussions of Afghanistan, as the USA is pressing NATO members to send more troops back there. I would also expect the USA to be pushing NATO members to spend more on defence.

Q: Before Donald Trump had been elected as president, he criticized Obama administration for deployment of US troops in the Eastern Europe, especially in Poland. However, it seems now that Trump is going to change his mind. How do you think, will Trump continue to maintain deployment of US military troops in Eastern Europe?

A: Yes, I don’t expect that Trump will change the policy of the Obama administration in Eastern Europe.

Q: European NATO members-such as Germany, France, Britain, Denmark and others have already agreed to locate troops and military facilities in Baltic States. From point of your view, are big European countries capable of inhibiting Russian threat in Baltic region?

A: The so-called ‘Russian threat’ in the Baltic region is greatly exaggerated. The likelihood of a Russian attack on the Baltic States is almost zero. In any case, NATO outspends Russia on defence 14 times. European members of NATO alone have twice as many troops as the Russian Federation. Europe is quite capable of defending itself.

Q: In your opinion. Is the issue of Ukraine going to be one of the important topics of summit in Brussels?

A: It will be on the agenda, but probably won’t dominate to the same extent as in the past.

Q: What reasons that urge NATO to carry out military mission in Asia?

A: In order to maintain its existence, NATO has need of things to do. In the absence of direct threats to NATO territory, it will therefore seek things to do ‘out of area’.

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