NATO is ill-prepared to confront new threats posed by Russia, and members of the western military alliance may not have the collective political will to take concerted action to deter an attack, a cross-party group of MPs warn on Thursday, Censor.NET reports, citing The Guardian. The committee's findings come at a time of exceptionally fraught and volatile relations between Russia and the West.
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The MPs' warning has been issued at the same time as another report, by a group of former Russian and European defence and foreign ministers, warning of the increasing likelihood of an unplanned, direct clash between Russian and Nato forces leading to an accidental war, and calling for communication between the two sides to be improved.
"Russian military forces have been stationed near and have exercised close to Ukraine's borders. Nato has announced additional force deployments in eastern Europe," the ministers - including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former UK foreign and defence secretary, Des Browne, another former defence secretary, and Igor Ivanov, Russia's former defence minister - write in a report on crisis management in Europe.
"With Ukraine doing better militarily, there is an acute dilemma for [Vladimir] Putin on whether to raise the stakes. It's a dangerous cocktail," said Ian Kearns, director of the European Leadership Network, which published the ministers' report.
"Given this dynamic, it is easy for events to unfold in a way none of the key players intended. It's an illusion we can keep all of this under control indefinitely."
The MPs argued that given the threat of unconventional "ambiguous warfare", the word "armed" should be removed from the clause, so that NATO could respond effectively to any kind of attack.