NATO has officially acknowledged that it had been planning to expand its presence on the Russian border several years ago, NATO said on September 17. Rob Bauer, head of the alliance’s military committee, said this at a press conference in Tallinn on September 17.
“We discussed the most extensive restructuring of our military structures since 1949. The planning for this started several years ago, now we are putting these plans into practice,” he said.
Bauer also said that Ukraine was receiving more modern weapons from NATO members.
“The Alliance has generally agreed to provide non-lethal assistance to Ukraine, but NATO countries are providing military assistance to Ukraine on their own, including by supplying weapons. Thus, as time passes, more and more new weapons are coming to Ukraine,” the committee head said.
Earlier, on 9 September, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance would deploy new forces on its eastern border and send a signal to Russia that it was ready to defend its territory. He said this after a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
On September 3, Patrick Buchanan, editor-in-chief of The American Conservative, called NATO’s eastward expansion a mistake. In his view, the U.S. actions had triggered a new phase of the Cold War with Moscow and a rapprochement between Russia and China.