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Brussels/Washington. The buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine is galvanizing NATO defenses in Europe that President Vladimir Putin wants to dismantle, giving the alliance a sense of renewal after failures in Afghanistan.

Despite intense diplomacy with Russia, the United States and its NATO allies say they cannot consider the demands Moscow is making for security guarantees as it builds up troops near its neighbor’s border and conducts live-fire exercises in Belarus.

Instead, Western officials, diplomats and former officials say NATO – created in 1949 to deter the Soviet threat – is obliged to consider reinforcements that run counter to Putin’s demand that the alliance not expand further east. .

Neutral countries such as Finland and Sweden, which have deepened their collaboration with the Western alliance, have revived a debate about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

French President Emmanuel Macron offered to send troops to Romania, an offer that was welcomed by the Romanian president, and there is a possibility that more NATO troops could be sent to the Black Sea region and the Baltic.

“One of the things that stands out to me about this is that … Russia’s actions have precipitated exactly what President Putin says he wants to avoid,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the media. this week before leaving for Ukraine, where he said support for NATO entry had increased, “Certainly, NATO’s defensive posture will have to be further strengthened.”

This could mean more NATO troops, ships and aircraft in the Black Sea area and the Baltic and move from a troop rotation strategy to a permanent presence of forces there, including more US soldiers and weapons.

“I think that the transfer of additional capabilities by the United States to Europe is definitely on the way, because the situation demands it,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said.

Correct a slip

Joe Biden assured yesterday that any entry of Russian troops into Ukrainian territory would be considered an “invasion”, a day after suggesting that a “minor” incursion into that country could trigger a different response from NATO allies.

“There should be no doubt: if Putin makes this decision, Russia will pay dearly,” insisted the democrat.

“This is not the only scenario for which we must be prepared. Russia has long experience in aggressive measures that are not open military actions,” he said, referring to possible “actions carried out by Russian soldiers not wearing Russian uniform” or ” cyberattacks”.




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