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2020.12.03 16:25

Russia remains ‘chief threat’ amid Baltic build-up, NATO report says

LRT.lt2020.12.03 16:25

Russia will continue to be one of the main threats to NATO in the next decade, according to a high-level report by the alliance published on Tuesday.

“While Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia continues, assertive Russian behaviour has intensified," the report said, noting Russia's "ongoing military build-ups and assertive activity" in areas including "the Baltic and Black Sea regions".

Russia has engaged in "air and naval build-ups in and around key maritime chokepoints in the Barents, Baltic, and Black seas, and the Mediterranean,” the report said.

The NATO 2030: United for a New Era report drafted by experts was presented during a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers on December 1–2, also attended by Lithuania’s outgoing Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.

Read more: Lithuania calls on NATO to keep doors open for Georgia, Ukraine

“While Russia is by economic and social measures a declining power, it has proven itself capable of territorial aggression and is likely to remain a chief threat facing NATO over the coming decade,” the report said.

“Russia maintains a powerful conventional military and robust nuclear arsenal that poses a threat across NATO territory, but is particularly acute on the eastern flank,” a region that includes the Baltic states and other Eastern European members bordering Russia.

The report urged NATO member states to pursue “the dual-track approach of deterrence and dialogue” with Russia, but also to “raise the costs for Russian aggression” by imposing “tighter sanctions”.

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