NATO Military Build-Up in E Europe: 'Trump Will Continue Where Obama Stopped'

NATO Military Build-Up in E Europe: 'Trump Will Continue Where Obama Stopped'
Tue Jan 17, 2017 22:50:20

US President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that NATO is an obsolete organization since it is not much engaged in fighting terrorism and its members are not contributing enough. In an interview with Sputnik Germany, German politician Tobias Pflueger commented on Trump's statements and his position toward the military alliance.

The politician believes that Trump will have to negotiate with the alliance and reach some kind of agreement with its members.

Moreover, Pflueger argued that the new US president and NATO countries are likely to get along with each other, despite the critical remarks Trump made toward the organization earlier. "If you look closer at Trump's statements, he says, for example, that NATO is obsolete, because it did not pay much attention to the problem of terrorism, because it was created many years ago for other purposes," the member of Die Linke party said in an interview with Sputnik. However, Pflueger stressed that Trump considered the military alliance important and does not put into question NATO as such.

In a recent interview with The Times newspaper, Donald Trump pointed out that the military alliance is currently facing a lot of challenges. "I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago. Number two the countries aren't paying what they're supposed to pay. I took such heat, when I said NATO was obsolete. It's obsolete because it wasn't taking care of terror," Trump told the newspaper. "With that being said, NATO is very important to me," the US leader added.

Commenting on NATO's military build-up near Russian borders, Pflueger expressed his criticism on the issue.

"This is a permanent deployment of troops, which means an open violation of the NATO-Russia Act. Unfortunately, I have the impression that Trump will continue where Obama has stopped. If you pay attention to the speech of the future defense minister James Mattis in Congress, it, unfortunately, was completely in line with previous US policy, which means that there is a desire to arm against Russia. This will lead to an arms spiral, which we have always criticized, the politician concluded.

In July, NATO held a summit in Warsaw, where defense ministers finalized arrangements to deploy multinational NATO battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, totaling around 4,000 troops.

Russian officials expressed a negative attitude towards the move and said the Kremlin considers the buildup of the US military presence in Europe near the Russian borders as a threat.


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