While 'officially' the U.S.-led NATO has refrained from engaging Russian forces fighting in Ukraine after invading, the security alliance is nevertheless expending every effort to ensure that its forces, at some point, are 'dragged into' the war.
According to Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana, the alliance believes that it is no longer bound by past commitments to refrain from deploying forces in eastern Europe.
During a meeting in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius this week, Geoana claimed that Russia has "voided of any content" the NATO-Russia Founding Act because of its invasion of Ukraine and ongoing offensive there. In addition, according to a report by Almayadeen, Moscow's refusal to conduct talks with the alliance further negates the agreement.
Under the 1997 agreement, which sought to improve post-Cold War relations between Russia and NATO, both sides agreed to work together to "prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe."
In reference to Russia, the deputy secretary-general said, “They took decisions, they made obligations there not to aggress neighbors, which they are doing, and to have regular consultations with NATO, which they don’t. So I think that in fact this founding act is basically not functioning because of Russia."
Geoana went on to say: "Now we have no restrictions to have robust posture in the eastern flank and to ensure that every square inch of NATO's territory is protected by Article 5 and our allies."
Article 5, of course, is the provision of the NATO alliance agreement that allows for the collective defense of all member nations; if one is attacked, then all others are required to come to that country's defense. So naturally, stationing NATO forces as close to the border of Ukraine and Russia as possible, that only dramatically increases the chance of an 'accidental attack' -- a false flag, if you will -- on NATO forces, which will be used as the impetus to then attack Russia, which is replete with nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
That said, one of NATO's more reluctant members -- Turkey -- is at least acting in a responsible manner.
Earlier this week, the country canceled planned NATO drills in the Black Sea, taking on the role of mediator between the alliance and Russia. The reason for Ankara's cancellation was simple: There is no reason to put NATO warships in proximity to Russian warships at the present time and dramatically increase the chance that something unfortunate would happen that would trigger a wider conflict.
“If we had joined the sanctions, we would not have been able to fulfill the mediation role that we have now. We applied the Montreux Convention to warships, but the airspace, that corridor, we have to keep it open," said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“Outside of the convention, there have been requests from Russia, the United States for ships to pass. We have, in accordance with the convention, canceled or postponed planned NATO drills. We play an important role, and we fulfill our obligations,” stated Turkey’s Foreign Minister.
“Everyone can now impose sanctions on anyone they want. That’s their business. We have chosen the role of mediator, we are trying to make things easier. And this position is welcomed in the EU, in the world,” he added.