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Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has said that NATO needs to take a stronger stance with Russia and not allow negotiations to be used as a smokescreen for continuing Russian aggression, he writes in Politico.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

“For many years NATO attempted to use dialogue as the basis for its partnership with Russia. The Alliance operated in the spirit of trust and transparency. But this trust was, too often, abused,” he writes.

“NATO must make sure the discussions do not serve as a smokescreen that favors the aggressor. This is particularly important as Russia tries to blackmail NATO into renewing frozen relations,” he writes.

Linkevičius said that the Kremlin continues to engage in “massive propaganda campaigns aimed at dividing NATO and the EU. It has even gone so far as to use the migration crisis to its own advantage. Do these actions really fall in line with the sincere wish to cooperate with Europe Medvedev had talked about?”

He said that if Moscow wants to engage in a true partnership with NATO, it must stop reckless and provocative military activities at NATO borders, including Russian military flights with transponders off over the Baltic Sea and massive military drills without first warning its neighbours.

He also called on NATO to learn the lessons of the 20th century - that aggression needed to be met with a firm and unified alliance to be deterred.