CND has condemned NATOs ‘aggressive expansion’ into eastern Europe as a ‘destabilising and provocative manoeuvre’. NATO has announced that it will establish six new military bases: in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, as part of what NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has described as the ‘biggest reinforcement’ since the end of the Cold War. The military alliance has also revealed plans to open a training facility in Georgia, as well as doubling the size of its rapid reaction force from 13,000 to 30,000 – led by a “spearhead” force of 5,000 troops (including UK forces) which would be able to deploy within 48 hours.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said: ‘If Russia opened up a military facility in Mexico, it would be quite rightly decried as an aggressive act. Yet this is precisely the equivalent of what NATO is doing. The BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus points out that the opening of a training centre in Georgia is ‘ringing alarm bells’ in Russia, and that while ‘NATO sees its actions as entirely defensive – this is not the way they will be seen in Moscow’. ‘Is this any surprise?
This aggressive expansion, with troop build-ups and new military bases flanking Russian territory, is a destabilising and provocative manoeuvre – precisely at a time when what is needed is cool-headed diplomacy and a thawing of relations. ‘The situation in Ukraine is deplorable – and neither Western nor Russian intervention there holds any solution for the people of Ukraine – but ratcheting up tensions through military build-ups the scale of which haven’t been seen since the Cold War is nothing short of inflammatory and destabilising – with very dangerous global implications.’