The expansionism of Russia could pose ‘existential threat’: NATO Gen. Adrian Bradshaw

February 21, 2015 6:29 pm

could try to seize territory from states off the back of
fighting in , the military alliance’s deputy commander in
said Friday.
Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied
Commander Europe, spoke as Germany and France pushed for the crumbling
cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are pitched
against Ukrainian forces, to be “fully respected.”

A Polish Air Force MIG-29 fighter (front) and an Italian Air Force
Eurofighter Typhoon fighter patrol over the Baltics during a NATO air
policing mission from Zokniai air base near Siauliai February 10, 2015.
(File Photo: Reuters)

In a speech at
the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think-tank in London,
Bradshaw said Russian forces were being deployed in eastern Ukraine,
despite Moscow’s denials, and outlined the dangers for NATO of the
current situation.
“Russia might believe the large-scale
conventional forces that she has shown she can generate at very short
notice … could in future be used not only for intimidation and
coercion but potentially to seize NATO territory,” Bradshaw said.
“The
threat from Russia, together with the risk it brings of a
miscalculation resulting into a slide into strategic conflict, however
unlikely we see that as being right now, represents an obvious
existential threat to our whole being.”
Earlier this month,
former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the Daily
Telegraph newspaper that Russia was highly likely to intervene in the
Baltic states to test NATO’s commitment to collective defense.
And
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon reportedly told journalists
this week that there was a “real and present danger” to ,
Lithuania and , all Baltic states which are NATO members.
NATO
is setting up six command centers in and creating a
spearhead force of 5,000 troops which could deploy at short notice to
counter Russia’s “aggressive actions.”
It is also boosting its wider response force – which would take weeks or months to deploy – from 13,000 to 30,000 troops.

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