Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NATO May Have Left It Too Late to Confront Putin; Commentary

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NATO May Have Left It Too Late to Confront Putin; Commentary

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Fox Defence Editor

BRITAIN and its major Nato allies just aren't ready to stop a real military threat from Russia over Ukraine, so we have just been warned by a committee of MPs. Their report says there can be no excuse for being taken unaware by Vladimir Putin's tactics in grabbing the Crimea and destabilising Ukraine.

He has been at it for seven years and more, and yet we have deliberately looked the other way. The forward defences of Nato have been dismantled, forces cut, and exercises cancelled on grounds of cost-cutting, not only by the UK, but Germany, France, Holland, Italy and America. Starting with his short war in Georgia in 2008, Putin's forces have been practising a new strategy of destabilising neighbours, by stirring insurrection among Russian minorities and backing them with military personnel disguised as irregulars. Up until the downing of Malaysian Airways Flight MH17 it appeared to be working a treat in Ukraine and the Crimea. …

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