NATO accused Russia of spreading “propaganda” after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S.-led alliance broke a commitment to limit its forces in eastern European countries.
Russia, not NATO, is trampling on pledges made in the 1990s by wresting control of Crimea and massing troops near Ukraine’s borders, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters today in Brussels.
“This is just another piece of Russian propaganda and disinformation,” Rasmussen said. “Russia is violating every principle and international commitment it has made, first and foremost the commitment not to invade other countries.”
As the rhetoric escalated between the Kremlin and the trans-Atlantic alliance, Russia sought to intensify the economic squeeze by announcing it will charge Ukraine an extra 26 percent for natural gas. The deployment of as many as 40,000 Russian soldiers on Ukraine’s eastern border is fueling concern the Kremlin may invade after its annexation of Crimea.
In response to Russia’s seizure of Crimea, NATO has stepped up an air-policing mission over the Baltic states and dispatched AWACS surveillance planes over Poland and Romania. The U.S. sent more F-16 fighter jets to Poland and joined Romania and Bulgaria in naval exercises in the Black Sea.
This remains a tense situation and it would be premature to conclude that it is over.Back to top