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Dangerous relationships? NATO division over Russia will continue

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MOSCOW – The Russian issue is likely to lead to ever deeper splits between NATO members. Countries like France and Italy resent the aggressive tone that Eastern European countries employ to address the Eurasian power, says one analyst.

The differences of interests between NATO members come to the fore when it comes to Russia, believes political scientist and professor of international studies at the University of Trento, Italy, Vincenzo Della Sala.

“NATO has not yet defined its position with regard to Russia […] The countries of central and eastern Europe, which joined the alliance a short time ago, are convinced that the alliance must first address the Russian threat,” explained Della Sala.

According to the expert, for the eastern countries it is very important to ensure that the principle of mutual defense is ensured. The principle states that the alliance will defend any member country that is eventually attacked.

At the same time, countries like France and Italy prefer a more open relationship between the alliance and Russia for developing cooperation in areas such as the fight against terrorism.

“These two discussion groups within NATO relate to each other with great suspicion. Those who are open about Russia believe that certain eastern European countries increase tensions unnecessarily by employing an aggressive tone,” he said.

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On the other hand, the central and eastern European countries consider that the western European countries do not pay sufficient attention to the Russian threat. In this case, the faithful of the balance could be the US.

“The current blurring of the US position towards Russia means that this tension will continue to increase mutual distrust within the alliance and with Russia,” he said.

Earlier, the Russian ambassador in London, Andrei Kelin, said in an interview with Britain ‘s Channel 4 that Russia is ready to revise the terms of relations with the alliance, despite divergent.

Despite disagreements, Russia and NATO maintain a council that meets periodically to discuss matters of mutual interest.

The most recent meeting of the Russia-NATO Council dealt with the short-range and long-range missile reduction agreement, the INF Treaty, on July 5, 2019 in Brussels.

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