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Issue #1739      July 13, 2016

NATO backs “ally” against Russia

NATO leaders have vowed to back non-member “ally” Ukraine against Russia at the military bloc’s summit in Warsaw. NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg reheated the cold war in his opening speech.

“For our nations to be safe, it’s not enough to keep our defences strong, we must help to make our partners stronger,” he said.

Crucially, a new treaty explicitly binding the European Union trade bloc to imperialist alliance NATO was signed by Mr Stoltenberg, European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen claimed Russia’s re-unification with the Crimea following a plebiscite sparked by 2014’s Western-backed coup “doesn’t respect borders” and that NATO must ensure its negotiations with Moscow are conducted from a “position of strength” militarily.

US President Barack Obama urged European nations to maintain sanctions against Russia and defend the Kiev government.

“We need to bolster the defence of our allies in central and eastern Europe, strengthen deterrence and boost our resilience against new threats, including cyber attacks,” he said.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “absurd” to consider Russia a threat given the situation in the Middle East.

In an article for the Financial Times, Mr Obama said Brexit would not diminish Britain’s role in the imperialist alliance.

“The special relationship between the US and the UK will endure,” he said. “I have no doubt that the UK will remain one of NATO’s most capable members.”

British PM David Cameron told reporters on his arrival in Warsaw: “Britain may be leaving the EU but we are not turning our back on Europe and we’re not turning our back on European defence and security.”

On the two-day summit’s extra-territorial agenda were plans to send aircraft to the Middle East – reportedly to fight ISIS – and continuing the 15-year intervention in Afghanistan.

Australia announced it would extend its Afghan military mission by six months to mid-2017, while the US will only withdraw 1,400 of its 9,800 troops there this year.

Morning Star

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