News / Europe

    NATO to Prepare for Russia’s Next Move

    NATO to Prepare For Russia’s Next Movei
    X
    Jeff Seldin
    September 03, 2014 1:12 AM
    NATO is preparing for what many are calling one of the alliance’s most important summits in many years. When member leaders meet later this week in Wales, they are expected to take strong actions to form a new force that can act swiftly to handle what many see as Russian aggression. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

    NATO is preparing for what many are calling one of the alliance’s most important summits in many years.  When member leaders meet later this week in Wales, they are expected to take strong actions to form a new force that can act swiftly to handle what many see as Russian aggression.

    The charred remains of a Ukrainian military convoy - all that’s left after an ambush by Russian-backed separatists.

    It’s scenes like this that have NATO officials pushing for a new rapid reaction force - one that can deploy within days to help member states on Russia’s border.

    But while U.S. troops have been taking part in ramped-up war games to reassure nervous European allies, at the White House Tuesday there were questions about how much Washington is willing to contribute.

    Earnest: “Certainly the United States will be supportive of any sort of alliance decisions."

    Question: “So we could contribute troops? That option remains available that the U.S. will consider?”

    Earnest:  “Well, there are already troops, in some cases operating under the NATO banner, in some cases just operating on American military bases.”

    NATO officials say the rapid reaction force is part of a larger plan that is expected to be endorsed by leaders at this week’s summit in Wales.

    The force would include several thousand troops based in their home countries with air, sea and special forces support.
     
    “The spearhead force will be the first step, but of course it will be followed by more force if needed. But we do believe that there is a very strong deterrent," said NATO Secretary General Rasmussen.

    Such talk has irritated Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says it is getting out of hand.

    "It is necessary to restrain the 'war party' in Kyiv and in reality only the U.S. can do this," said Lavrov.

    At the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby responded...

    “You want to talk provocative, let’s talk about a few thousand Russian troops inside eastern Ukraine," said Kirby.

    Still, some NATO members, like Estonia, say what’s needed is more than a new force.

    “For us, it would be important that both NATO and the U.S. would be present in our region as long as Russia is continuing its aggressive policies. So we’re talking about continuous or more sustainable presence of both NATO and the U.S. in the region," said Tanel Sepp, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Estonia.

    Estonia’s chief of mission to the U.S. tells VOA his country already has adequate facilities, including one of the most modern military airfields in northern Europe.

     


    Jeff Seldin

    Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nicholas Thibodeau from: United States
    September 04, 2014 12:16 AM
    I think what you are seeing is the beggining of a possible world war. One were none of the eastern countries want to get involved in unless forced to do so. I pray that it doesnt come to this but at this point only a few NATO countries could bring the gears of war to a halt.

    by: Anonymous
    September 03, 2014 2:47 AM
    The Baltic reassured,Ukraine betrayed.

    by: Anonymous
    September 03, 2014 12:48 AM
    Cut off revenue of Gazprom and don't finance army of Russia!!!

    by: Matt from: Michigan
    September 02, 2014 11:35 PM
    Nato is meeting with all the zeal and urgency of a funeral. They are toothless.

    by: George NICOLAE from: USA
    September 02, 2014 11:30 PM
    New Hampshire: "Live FREE or die"
    Freedom is NOT FREE!

    by: JohnnyYuma from: los Angeles
    September 02, 2014 10:47 PM
    NATO would be foolish to raise the stakes with Russia. Putin is not Obama. He means what he says, and can back it up.

    NATO does not need to ignite a nuclear war. The world's political scene has become a mess in the last 6 years. Best that cooler heads prevail.

    by: Gregory smith from: United States
    September 02, 2014 10:15 PM
    Someone has to be watching the sky for russia's nukes,The russian prez is the one who will push the button and there fore war of the world the end

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora