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KC: Britons Deprive Russia Of Sphere Of Influence

posted by eagle on July, 2009 as Imperialism

Britons deprive Russia of sphere of influence

Publication time: 10 July 2009, 18:03 

NATO should reassure its members fearful of a "possible attack" from Russia by drawing up "contingency plans" to defend Baltic states, British MP said.


NATO should reassure its eastern European members fearful of a possible attack from Russia by drawing up contingency plans to defend Baltic states and staging military exercises there, British lawmakers said on Friday.


Some of Russia's neighbours were understandably concerned about possible Russian military action against them following last year's war between Russia and Georgia, Parliament's Defence Committee said in a report.


NATO should reassure its east European members through "robust contingency plans that cover the eventuality of attack on Baltic member states and that set out NATO's planned military response", the report said.


"In addition, NATO should maintain a visible military presence in the Baltic states, including maintaining its air policing and conducting exercises in the region," it said.


The report chimes with comments by NATO's departing secretary-general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who said on Tuesday that the alliance's new mission statement must reassure new members they will be protected.


Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, former Soviet Baltic states, joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.


The last few weeks have seen signs of improvement in relations between Russia and the West.


NATO and Russia resumed formal cooperation on broad security threats last month while Russia and the United States agreed a target for nuclear arms cuts during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Moscow this week.




The report said Russia had attempted to create a sphere of influence over other former Soviet states through the threat and use not just of military action, but increasingly through tools such as energy.


"Russia has valid interests in those countries that surround it, but to allow undue Russian influence in these countries would risk increasing Russian assertiveness and possibly compromise the sovereignty of these states," it said.


It urged the British government to adopt a "hard-headed approach to engagement with Russia, based on the reality of Russia's foreign policy rather than abstract and misleading notions of shared values".


Moscow's relations with Britain have been strained since the 2006 poisoning in London of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.


Noting 80 percent of Russian oil exports and 60 percent of its gas exports go to Europe, the report urged the British government to work within the EU for a united approach to energy security and to give priority to developing the Nabucco pipeline.


The pipeline aims to reduce European dependence on Russian gas by bringing Caspian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe.


Source: Agencies


Kavkaz Center

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