The Hill, By By Olivia Beavers, 4 July 2017
The top military officer of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said Monday the alliance was working on multiple fronts to thwart Russian efforts to elevate its military power.
General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, told Politico’s Brussels Playbook that it is unclear what the Kremlin’s intentions are, but their steps to increase military prowess is clear.
“When it comes to capability there is no doubt that Russia is developing their capabilities both in conventional and nuclear components. When it comes to exercises, their ability to deploy troops for long distance and to use them effectively quite far away from their own territory, there are no doubts,” Pavel told the newspaper during a breakfast event.
“When it comes to intent, it’s not so clear because we cannot clearly say that Russia has aggressive intents against NATO,” he added.
The general said the allies must be prepared to confront “any potential threat that would mirror the situation we know from Crimea, from eastern Ukraine,” adding that they would not stand for such actions to be “repeated against any NATO ally.”
“We face a huge modernization of all Russia military,” Pavel told the newspaper.
The general said the organization cannot fully focus on one threatening state. He said the alliance is working to vamp up its counter-terrorism efforts.
NATO defense officials are expected to meet later this week in Brussels.