NATO Divisions Could Embolden Russia, Experts Fear Progression to War

NATO jets and ships are heading to Eastern Europe as Russia masses troops near Ukraine’s border.

However, NATO remains divided.

Some 100,000 Russian troops are standing at Ukraine’s border, causing tensions on a global scale. UK and US claim that Russia is preparing to invade the country.

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On NATO’s side, multiple European countries are deploying forces near Russia. Denmark is sending a frigate to the Black Sea, and deploying warplanes to Russian neighbor Lithuania. Spain sent its frigate to the Black Sea. France, a major military power in Europe, has said it is ready to send troops to Romania, a country neighboring Ukraine.

Meanwhile, US and UK continue to threaten Russia with consequences if they start an invasion. On Monday, the UK began withdrawing embassy staff From Kyiv, amid fears of invasion. The move comes days after the US did the same.

Russia denied any plans for invasion. However, they already took a part of Ukrainian territory back in 2014, during the invasion of Crimea.

Moreover, they also backed the separatists in the country’s eastern Donbas region. The conflict, which still remains unresolved, cost some 14,000 lives.

Russian Sattelite States

Conflict may escalate if Russia decides to recognize two breakaway states in Eastern Ukraine. In fact, the Russian Parliament will soon discuss that option, with the final decision resting on President Vladimir Putin.

The move would not be new for Russia. In fact, the country is surrounded by semi-independent buffer states.

This includes Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georga, Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan, Transnistria in Moldavia.

Image from e-ir.info

Soon, the two People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk could join other recognized Russian satellite states.

This time, however, a move to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk would very likely lead to war. A war in Europe for which Europe is not prepared.

Not Everyone On Board

In fact, divisions among NATO and European countries could embolden Russia to act. Unlike its NATO allies, Germany did not pledge any support to Ukraine.

In fact, the biggest European economy even blocked its NATO ally Estonia from shipping German weapons to Ukraine.

The decision came after the U.S. reached the exact opposite decision. All three Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, said that they would be sending military aid to Ukraine. That aid would be in the form of U.S. Javelin and Stinger missiles.

Germany explained its position as one rooted in its post-WW2 pacifism. Others suggested that it has more to do with Germany’s ties to Russia.

This includes the controversial Nord Stream II pipeline. The recently-constructed pipeline transports gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. By doing so, it bypasses Ukraine, as well as Germany’s NATO allies Poland and the Baltic states.

That’s likey because these countries are historically hostile to Russia. At the same time, Ukraine is unreliable in its transport of gas to Europe.

On the other hand, German households rely on gas from Russia, and Russia relies on its gas revenue. Still, NATO countries were not very happy with the warming relations between Berlin and Moscow.

Trump Questioned Germany On Its Russian Relations

This especially applies to the U.S. under Donald Trump. Back in 2018, the former President spoke out with harsh words against the pipeline.

Germany will have almost 70% of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas. You tell me, is that appropriate?” he asked.

We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” he added.

However, the tone softened under Biden’s administration, which finally lifted the sanctions on the pipeline.

Now, the Nord Stream II is in operation and the Russian and German economies are more closely tied than ever.

As Russia is pursuing its own strategic interest, a divided European front may embolden it to act. Unfortunately, that could lead to war.

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