Russia withdrew yesterday its senior military representative in NATO, a few hours after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow is awaiting clarification from the North Atlantic Council for the strategy it will follow in Eastern Europe.
"We do not consider appropriate to continue usual military cooperation with NATO" the Deputy Defence Minister of Russia Anatoly Antonov said, according to news agency RIA Novosti. "We decided to call back to Moscow our military representative in NATO for consultations" he added. Chief military spokesman of Russia in NATO's is General Valery Yevnevich.
NATO stopped cooperating with Moscow on the occasion of the annexation of Crimea. The agency also denies that it breached an agreement with Russia by strengthen forces in Eastern Europe and instead blames Moscow that it "violates every principle and international commitment" with the occupation of the Crimean peninsula. Although Lavrov said that he calls for responses from NATO about its operations in Eastern Europe, the General Secretary of the Alliance Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he hasn't received questions from Moscow and mentioned that Russian accusations against NATO are "propaganda and misinformation".
From Tallinn, Estonia's ambassador in NATO confirmed that a military airport, Amari, will become a base from which the Alliance will effectively supervise the airspace of the Baltic. Lauri Lepik, in an interview to the newspaper Postimees said this measure is part of efforts to strengthen the patrol of the airspace in the Baltic countries from NATO, under a program that was first implemented in 2004. "Estonia pointed out for a long time that the air policing in the Baltic should have two bases, one in Siauliai Lithuania and another in Amari Estonia" he said and added "Many allies have offered to provide more aircrafts and thus make possible the operation of the second base", stating that the construction could be completed within the year.