President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won’t see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days. Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House, two sources close to the NATO chief told me.
Kurt Volker, who served as the U.S. permanent representative to NATO under both President George W. Bush and Obama, said the president broke a long tradition. “The Bush administration held a firm line that if the NATO secretary general came to town, he would be seen by the president … so as not to diminish his stature or authority,” he told me. Continue reading
As US allies rapidly demonstrate their willingness to abandon Washington on key issues like China’s attempt to move the world away from US-dominated multinational institutions that have held sway for decades, and with NATO simultaneously building a “line of troops” along the Russian border, Moscow seems keen on proving yet again that Russia’s belligerence knob “goes to 11.” As we noted over the weekend, Moscow took the rhetoric up a notch recently when the Kremlin threatened (literally) to blow Danish ships out the water with nuclear missiles, prompting a NATO spokeswoman to dryly note that “such statements do not inspire confidence or contribute to predictability, peace or stability.” Here’s more from Reuters: Continue reading
Envoy offers harsh warning to Scandinavian country currently mulling NATO membership
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Russia’s ambassador to Denmark has said Moscow could send nuclear missiles against ships from the Scandinavian NATO country if it joins the alliance’s missile defense system.
Ambassador Mikhail Vanin’s comments, published in newspaper Jyllands-Posten Saturday, prompted an angry response from Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard. Continue reading