“Civil lobbyists” of NATO in Russia: a hidden threat

NATOSeveral events on June 15 forced the Russian society to reflect on the activity of NATO near the borders of the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance are operating inside Russia itself. And the results of this activity may be much more dangerous in the long term than saber rattling on our western borders. But first things first.

Yesterday, the Internet community actively discussed several topics related to NATO. Firstly, all were excited about the news that the US plan the placement of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons on the territory of the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, as a support for approximately 5000 US troops. Experts unequivocally interpret such plans as a support (even if only moral) of NATO forces concentrated at our eastern borders. A former employee of the US State Department, the American journalist and writer William Blum, confirmed that the concerns of the Russian Foreign Ministry were well-founded. “This is just one more step of the United States and NATO in their attempts at encircling Russia,” – he said candidly.

The NATO structures did not sit idly this week either: On June 15 NATO held a grand opening of the command center of the alliance in Tallinn. This is one of six coordinating headquarters of NATO which will begin work along the Russian border, on the territory of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania.

Even the staunch liberal Alexei Kudrin expressed his concern saying that a reduction of tensions between Russia and the West depends on stopping the advancement of NATO towards our borders.
If a man like Alexei Leonidovich begins to show concern about NATO’s eastward expansion, the threat is indeed more than palpable.

Resignation of the head of NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszczel the resignation of head of the NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszczel went almost unnotticed against the backdrop of these high-profile events. But the fact of his transfer to work in Brussels is a good opportunity to take a good look at the structure he headed.

Firstly, the evacuation of the soft and diplomatic Pszczel from Moscow means the arrival in his place a more rigid and straightforward emissary. In many ways, the situation resembles the castling of Tefft – McFaul as US Ambassador to Russia. Secondly, the change means a change of NATO’s long-term «soft power» strategy with a more conjunctural and tough politics in the Russia-NATO relations.

Of particular interest are Pszczel’s achievements at the head of NATO Information Office in Moscow. They are impressive: since 2010 he was able to build in Russia a network of “citizen lobbyists” or, simply speaking, agents of influence of NATO on the territory of the Russian Federation. Their members are no foot-soldiers toting primitive posters in the style of “NATO come – bring us order” but rather young intellectual elite of Russia who will form its policy tomorrow. The area of special attention of Pszczel all these years were young scientists (primarily humanists), leaders of youth initiatives, and other people able to support and promote political goals of NATO representative in Russia.

Thus, the official website of the NATO representation in Russia is full of reports of the meetings held with the specified “target groups”.

Published originally on 17.06.2015 at Nikolai Starikov’s Blog


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