Former Nato Chief: Attacking Ukraine not Russia’s preferred option, yet Putin keeps the option

Former Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh said that attacking Ukraine is not Russia’s preferred option, yet Putin keeps the option.

“I think he hopes to gain more through negotiations than he could do by attacking Ukraine, but the fact that he has amassed more than 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border demonstrates that he keeps the option to attack.” Fogh said on Thursday.

He continued “We’re definitely closer to war than we have been ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

“Unfortunately, we have reached out to Russia on several occasions. Back in 1997, we approved the so-called NATO Russia founding Act and we allowed Russia to have a delegation in the midst of NATO headquarters in Brussels. In 2002, we created the NATO Russia Council to have a forum for framework for continued dialogue with Russia. In 2010 we decided at the NATO Russia Summit to develop a strategic partnership between NATO and Russia.”

He added “We have done a lot to reach out to the Russians. My lesson learned from all this is you cannot make peace through appeasement with dictators.”

Fogh said Putin only respects one kind of language and tha is the language of strength, force and unity between Europe and the United States.

“If we give concessions to Russia. Mr. Putin would consider that a weakness that he can exploit. That’s what we have seen in the past. So in my opinion, the best way to convince the Russians that constructive cooperation is better than destructive confrontation.”

The former chief concluded “The best way to convince him is to maintain a firm stance against the Russian demands Latvia and the two other Baltic states are safe because of the NATO membership and the NATO Article 5 which states that we consider an attack on Latvia or Estonia or an attack on all of us and Putin knows that and he knows that an attack on you would be met by determined NATO military response and in a direct military confrontation between NATOand Russia, Russia wouldn’t have a chance.”

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