Former Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow said that it was necessary to help Ukraine, Georgia and now Belarus to protect themselves from political interference and create conditions for cyber security.
According to Voice of America, Vershbow called on the Russian leader Vladimir Putin not to believe, adding that there is an awareness of the lack of “prospects for rapid improvement”.
“To the detriment of our principles, do not try to make major deals with Putin. On the altar of improving relations with Moscow, do not sacrifice other countries. We must confront Russian aggression in all spheres, strengthening NATO. To protect ourselves from political interference and create cyber security, we must help Ukraine, Georgia, and now Belarus to protect their sovereignty. Against aggressive behavior of Russia, we should increase expenses”, – he said during the event organized by the Atlantic Council of the USA, – “So we think that we should be patient and firm in defending our principles. Putin may remain in power for another 10, 16 or more years and he will choose to retain political control, continuing the narrative that the West has decided to defeat Russia and to reject its rightful place in the world.”
A former senior NATO official suggested that a new ‘associate member’ status would be advisable for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO.
“The question of Russia’s membership in NATO was seriously discussed between Clinton and Yeltsin. However, the matter did not go any further. I agree with the opinion that it is possible to return to this issue in some form. For example, improving civil relations between NATO and Russia so that there is no sense that the partnership between NATO and Russia is just a facade approach. This can be done in a comprehensive way. What we are doing about the aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia to join: we promised that Ukraine and Georgia would become NATO members, but we did not think how we could achieve this. Perhaps this will be achieved by creating a new associate member status for Ukraine and Georgia”, – said Werschbow.