Payman Yazdani of Mehr News International Service Osman Faruk Loğoğlu, Deputy Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) about recent NATO military drills viewed by many political analysts including German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier who warned earlier this week that the NATO should wisely refrain from escalation of conflict with Russia through aggressive rhetoric and drills which would only serve Cold-war-like atmosphere to dominate the west-Russia interactions:
Recently there has been a large scale military drill by NATO members near Russian borders in Eastern Europe. Are we going to see a new incipient cold war era? Are there now any similarities between behavior of both blocks and theirs before 1991? What can be the possible response of Russia to recent NATO efforts in Eastern Europe? German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and its former Chancellor Schröder on Monday called NATO military drill warmongering that can worsen the security of Europe and called for diplomacy with Russia. What do you think of this?
Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia and its intervention in Ukraine, tensions between NATO and Russia have been high. Russian power projections in the eastern flank, the Baltics and further west had already raised concerns about Russian motives and intentions. Deployments of Russian air, ground and naval forces in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean have compounded NATO’s worries. Russia on the other hand, has expressed displeasure at the continuing development of the NATO missile defense system, suggesting that Iran does not pose a missile threat as NATO claims and that it is Russia that is the actual target.
NATO as a defense and security organization cannot leave Russian challenges and power projections unanswered. President Putin’s tough rhetoric is not making NATO’s task any easier as well. But Russophobia should not be NATO’s modus operandi. The upcoming summit in Warsaw should provide most of NATO’s answers to the new security challenges in the international environment and to Russia. But at the end of the day NATO’s policy response should be double pronged: deterrence and dialogue.
Dr. Osman Faruk Loğoğlu is a Turkish diplomat and the former Turkish ambassador to the US, having served from 2001 to 2005.
Interview by: Payman Yazdani