NATO without Russia

Russia, after a series of unfriendly acts on the part of the West, turns away from dialogue with NATO. As expected, Western comments are now blaming Russia for prolonging the "ice Age". The development that led to the dramatic current step of the Russians can hardly be turned upside down more clearly.

Russia is ending diplomatic contacts with NATO due to a series of unilateral and unfriendly acts on the part of the Western military alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday. This is a dangerous development. For an assessment of the process, it is first important to note that there is a clearly responsible side to the escalation of the confrontation between Russia and NATO: while the Russian government is patiently reaching out and promoting rational understanding in the direction of the NATO states on the basis of a balance of mutual interests, these gestures from the "Western" side are repeatedly rejected brusquely. That is why the current development has been announced for a long time. The details that ultimately triggered Russia's response to NATO are described below.

There is no alternative to a German-Russian understanding

Germany and Europe have no alternative to a relaxation with Russia, which is part of Europe. This relaxation is vital for Germany's survival. A German-Russian understanding must be promoted largely independently of the character of the respective Russian government, also because of these very own interests of Germany. At the same time, a commitment to dialogue with Russia does not mean political solidarity with the respective Russian government.

Now that Russia is turning away from NATO diplomacy for the time being after a series of unfriendly acts from the Western side, twisted Western comments are blaming Russia for prolonging the "ice age". The reality and the development that led to the dramatic current step of the Russians can hardly be turned upside down more clearly. Some German media and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also practice this acrobatics in terms of content.

FAZ: NATO wants to know nothing from Russia "anyway"

For example, Maas according to media reports has criticized the Russian decision to break off ties with NATO: this will further extend the ice age between the two sides, said the SPD politician on the sidelines of a meeting with EU colleagues in Luxembourg. These are unfortunate developments. It should be noted once again that Russia is apparently no longer ready for dialogue.

The "FAZ" openly says that NATO "doesn't want to know anything" about Russia anyway. This is a remarkable view – as if in the real world one could simply choose with whom one wanted to have: the states are obliged and condemned to come to an understanding, and all the more so if they have different interests. In addition, the FAZ is trying to morally justify NATO's policy against Russia - knowing full well that NATO cannot score points in the field of political morality. The FAZ writes nevertheless:

"The fact that Russia is closing its Permanent mission to NATO headquarters and at the same time withdrawing accreditation from NATO representatives sent to Moscow will not shake the Alliance and European security. Foreign Minister Lavrov's complaint that the 'basic conditions for joint work' no longer exist is just the usual mockery: NATO does not want to know about 'joint work' with a country that forcibly redraws the European map and interferes with the policies of its member states with cyber campaigns."

And the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" simply claims:

"Moscow is permanently offended, the Foreign Ministry appropriately twists the facts: it always says then that the West breaks off all bridges, refuses to dialogue. In doing so, it is the Kremlin that excludes Western organizations as undesirable, and is now destroying another channel of conversation. The method is to run out of the room with the door slamming and complaining loudly that no one is talking to you."

NATO harassment leads to end of diplomacy

The Russian statement, on the other hand, states:

"In view of the lack of appropriate conditions for the conduct of diplomatic activity due to targeted steps by NATO, the work of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, including the Military General Representative, will be discontinued."

NATO's "targeted steps" against Russia are described by the Russian side as follows:

"On October 6, 2021, the NATO Secretariat officially notified the decision of the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, to withdraw accreditation from eight employees of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation from November 1, 2021, as well as to reduce the entire size of the diplomatic mission to ten people from this date. No explanation of the reasons has been provided. The staff of our diplomatic mission in Brussels has already been unilaterally reduced by NATO twice in 2015 and 2018 – following the Alliance's decision of April 1, 2014, to suspend all practical and military cooperation between Russia and NATO. In addition, the access of our diplomats to the headquarters of the Alliance and connections with its international secretariat were limited to the maximum. Military contacts were put on hold."

In addition to the work of the Russian Permanent Mission to NATO, the work of the NATO military mission in Moscow will be suspended, accreditation will be withdrawn from employees from November 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry continues. The work of the NATO Information Office in Moscow, which was set up at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, will also be completed, according to the announcements from the Russian side. To "maintain emergency contacts with the headquarters of the Alliance," the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Belgium will be authorized.

For "strengthening internal unity": NATO needs external enemy

The above-mentioned actions of NATO would confirm that it is not interested in an equal dialogue and joint work to de-escalate military-political tensions. As a motive for NATO's hostile attitude towards Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry also calls the will for an external enemy:

"The course of the alliance towards our country is becoming increasingly aggressive. 'The Russian threat' is being ignited to consolidate the Alliance's internal unity, to create the appearance of its 'in demand' in today's geopolitical conditions."