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NATO would see “worrying” that Russia would take missiles to Venezuela or Cuba

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The president of the Military Committee of the OTAN, Admiral Rob Bauer, considered this Thursday “worrying“That Russia could move missiles to countries like Venezuela or Cuba because of its implications for allied security.

“It is not the territory of NATO, Venezuela and Cuba, but I can imagine that there are countries, allies, who are concerned about such a possibility”, Bauer said at a press conference at the end of a meeting of the Alliance Defense chiefs, gathered in the Military Committee.

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The Dutch military spoke thus when asked about statements by the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Riabkov, who told the Russian international television channel RTVI on Thursday that the United States and NATO said “no” to Russia’s demands for security guarantees and ruled out an early resumption of negotiations with the West.

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When asked about Moscow’s response measures, he did not rule out the deployment of military infrastructure in Cuba and Venezuela. “I do not want to confirm anything (…), or rule out anything“, he pointed.

Bauer claimed not to have “seen the message” from Riabkov, and therefore could not give “a military response.”

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However, he considered “worrying if Russia takes missiles to other countries that may have an impact on security.”

On the talks between the United States and NATO with Russia in Geneva on Monday and in Brussels on Wednesday, respectively, and the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today in Vienna to address the Russian military reinforcement together To Ukraine and its implications for security in Europe, Bauer said he hopes that now Russian diplomatic delegations will return to Moscow to brief Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As he indicated, it will be Putin who “will decide on the way forward.”

In any case, he considered that the different meetings held this week, “in themselves, have not led to major changes on the Ukrainian border.”

The concentration of Russian troops that began in the spring of last year and continued into the fall is “very worrying,” he said.

Asked also about Estonia’s request for more NATO troops in the Baltic countries due to Russia’s threat to Ukraine, Bauer recalled that the Allied Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has already said that if there is a new Russian invasion on Ukrainian territory “We would have to review our position, and that includes southern and eastern Europe.”

“I know that there are several countries interested in hosting these forces, but as far as I know, it has not been made official yet. So I cannot say that there has been a decision, “said the admiral.

He explained that, “in general, we are looking at possibilities (…) if there are nations that want to provide forces as they do in the battalions in the northeast”, referring to the four multinational battalions that NATO deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014.

“There are preparations, but not yet decisions,” he said.

Finally, asked about a possible operation of the Alliance in the African region of the Sahel, hit by jihadism and where the mercenaries of the private Russian company Wagner are taking positions -as in Mali-, Bauer ruled out that possibility.

However, he noted that France and other allies could be involved in operations in that area.

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