The chairman of NATO’s Military Committee would like to see the NATO-Russia Council reinvigorated to address issues pending between the two entities, say officials.

Gen. Petr Pavel of the Czech army said Russia must show through actions, not just words, that it is ready for such a development. The general spoke to the Defense Writers Group this morning at George Washington University, according to a press release.

Pavel said he believes there is a chance for improved relations between the alliance and Russia. “I am always a cautious optimist,” he told the writers.

“I believe that there is a chance to have better relations between NATO and Russia, but what we need is more willingness on the Russian side that would assure the alliance that Russia has serious interest in making this relationship better.”

Russia must take steps, in other words, to prove it is serious, and the general said he will not ignore past bad behavior.

“It is difficult to sit at the table knowing there are occupied territories in Georgia, that there is direct Russian support to separatists in [Ukraine’s Dombass region], that there is the Crimea that was occupied illegally,” he said.

“There are a number of not only concrete measures, but also narratives that are creating tensions. We need to have more common will to engage in a constructive dialogue.”

The best place to start would be in Ukraine, Pavel said. “Until there is a solution in Ukraine, there will not be an improvement in relations,” he added. One step in the right direction would be for Russia to allow United Nations or Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe missions into the contested region.

“That would be a clear sign of a constructive approach,” the general said. “At that point, we can start thinking about other steps to improve coordination and dialogue.”



    • “Sod that NATO, its time get some revenge for the stunt they pulled with sarin on UK soil.Time to get busy.”

      The Uk, will take action in sending home a few Russian diplomats and that that will be end of the story for a few years,when those same diplomats will be allowed to return on the QT.

      The problem we have in the West is we have a habit of appeasing bullies and attacking our friends.
      America, why we hate them
      Russians, why they saved us during the war
      Christianity, full of paedophiles and warmongers
      The peaceful religion, why it can only be a victim

      Countries such as Russia understand this only too well and play the game accordingly, of course they are helped by a load of useful idiots in the UK who will defend Moscow every chance they get. Meanwhile our worldclass diplomats will give Russia the benefit of the doubt…yet again.

      • Totally right farouk. One only has to look in the comments of any article on the incident to see the horrific sight of people posting in support of Russia even though they have just conducted what basically amounts to a chemical terrorist attack on UK soil. And IT IS terrorist attack. They could have simply killed the man covertly made it look like an accident, instead they used a rare and deadly nerve agent to send a message and terrorize people into compliance and fear. Before that it was a radioactive attack. How many British citizens must be put in danger before the British government can no longer hide it’s own feeble nature in standing up for the people it should be protecting?

        All in all it reminds me of this scene from the Darkest hour.

    • Maybe one should ponder why the UK seems to be the retirement home for the world’s population of aged Russian spies.

      • Maybe because they were our agents in the pay of SIS.

        They should disappear in America or Australia, as it seems too easy to fins them here.

  1. Agee- want constructive relationship- do not use nerve agents on foreign national territory.
    Stop trying to use cyber attacks on the UK national infrastructure.
    Stop aircraft incursions into UK territory
    Stop attempting submarine incursions into UK territory
    Stop threatening your neighbours who just so happen to be NATO members.
    I could go on- I summary Russia is a threat and we need to meet that threat via strong defence investment and a capable armed forces

    • Well said MR Bell not to mention sarin attacks on syrian children. Dont really know what farouk is on but I wont take it.

  2. Good Day!

    A word to HM Government! Take the warnings seriously and invest greatly in our defences!
    Russia and indeed Mr Putin only have respect when the UK has armed forces which are vastly stronger than now!

    The Cold War is already here again! Don’t deny!
    The Government has to invest vastly more in our Defence!
    Let’s face it and be honest since the sixties we have become a shadow of our former selves on the world stage!

    This declining trend could and should change immediately!

    Nick expat in Germany!

  3. Good.

    No reason for Russia to be the enemy.

    In so far as ‘enemies of the British people’ go, Russia pales in comparison to the Labour & Tory parties.

    Russia isn’t your enemy
    Russia doesn’t harm you or make your life or country any worse.

    • Did you not hear about the two dozen people poisened by the nerve agent likely released by a Russian agent? What planet are you living on?

  4. If it’s found that the Russian state was responsible for the attack in Salisbury I really worry for our future.

    I suspect that HMG are going to have to really look closely at just how much of an existential risk to the U.K there now is from a geographically close peer.

    It’s been a truism for a quarter of a century that we do not have an existential threat the the home islands, this may have to change.

    We are now facing the possibility that a nation with an ability to do significantly harm to the U.K. has undertaken an attack on U.K soil using a weapon of mass destruction. This was not just possible state sponsored murder attempt or even a blatant political assassination attempt to send a message that traitors are not safe, no this was a very blatant attack on the fabric of our nation, causing harm to our citizens and bringing fear to a town and basically making a statement that “we can do what we want to your citizens, and you can’t stop us”.

    How we deal with this robustly without risking more terrible things happening I’m not sure. But I think, even if it was or was not Russia (and I’m not assuming) just maybe Putin would respect a nation more that has a very big stick and a “this is the line cross it at your peril attitude”.

    I can see an unfortunate need to go to a 3% spend coming in the next few years as the inevitable tensions from state Sponsored activities continues.

      • Cyber probably seems the right way to go if it’s found to be a state agency.

        The western democracies seems to have very little in their play book at present when faced with peer nation (non western nations) essentially using (in a limited way) asymmetric war fighting tactics on them with a cover of deniability or a essentially using a form of neo mercantilism.

        The west thought it had won the future at the end of the Cold War ,with the whole end of history nonsense, turns out the rest of the world has other ideas.

        If we don’t reinvent our play book and get the nice clear lines redrawn ( a nuclear world needs nice clear lines, in bold with great big bells on) we are heading for a torrid time.

  5. One thought.

    Just HOW was this weapon smuggled into the UK?

    Don’t our airports and ports have detectors for this sort of thing?

    If they don’t, they should.

    Are these things detectable? Maybe they are odourless.

    As for the many small harbours and airfields around the UK, well they have all the security of a sieve.

    • As a former customs officer I can tell you there is sod all you can do about a small bag of powder or liquid on a pocket.
      We can do even less with a diplomatic bag.
      As Russia has high levels of corruption, this attack may be a Russian mafia with ripped off nerve agent…. ( just a possible theory)

      • Thank you Dennis, you at least are qualified to comment.

        I’d not thought of the Diplomatic Bag.

        A nation is pretty helpless then. Frightening stuff.

  6. There is literally nothing that can be done at the border to stop these weapons entering the country.
    All that can be done is to remove diplomats and shut down embassy if we believe this is state sponsored terrorism.
    The fact is nerve agents that are deliverable as a weapon for personal assassination do not just come into the hands of mafia these are sensitive and complex weapons that take specialist equipment to manufacture and specialist skills to store, transport and deliver.


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