Steinmeier Blows Apart NATO’s Narrative of Russian Aggression

According to a posting, Sunday, on Zerohedge, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s criticism of NATO’s warmongering was a surprise, because it came from a completely unexpected direction.

“And just like that, the entire fictional narrative of ‘innocent’ NATO merely reacting to evil Russian provocations has gone up in flames,” says ZH. “As AFP adds, Steinmeier merely highlighted all those things which rational persons have known about for a long time, namely the deployment of NATO troops near borders with Russia in the military alliance’s Baltic and east European member states.”

ZH shows that Steinmeier hit the nail on the head by quoting the CFR’s Stephen Sestanovich, who tweeted,

“If Steinmeier calls it ‘warmongering’ to push back against Putin, he should step down — that’s not German policy.”

Bloomberg News sees Steinmeier’s statement as evidence of a split in the German government coalition.

“It’s Russia, not western nations, that needs to contribute more to rebuild trust,”

said Juergen Hardt, the foreign-policy spokesman of Merkel’s parliamentary faction, in a statement on Sunday. Steinmeier’s comments could lead to “misunderstandings or even glee in Moscow,” he said. The public dispute between Merkel’s CDU and Steinemeier, whose SPD is the junior partner in the coalition

“reflects growing tension within Merkel’s coalition over how to deal with the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine,” reports Bloomberg.

On top of this comes Gerhard Schroeder, the former chancellor, also of the SPD. Schroeder, in a June 18 interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, warned NATO that its policies could lead to a new arms race with Russia, saying that they “will help neither to mitigate conflicts with Russia nor restore good relations.” He ridiculed the idea that Russia “may be nurturing a plan to invade NATO-countries,” stressing that the notion is completely out of touch with the real state of affairs. Schroeder also praised Steinmeier’s call to lift the sanctions on Russia gradually. He also argued that it’s inappropriate for Germany top participate in the NATO military build-up in the Baltic states, particularly as the 75th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa—Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941—comes on June 22.

“Seventy-five years after German troops attacked the Soviet Union, they are going to be placed at Russia’s borders again,” Schroder said. “What kind of response can this bring? Looks like NATO isn’t thinking about that.”
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