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The 70th birthday celebration of the organization was held on April 4 in Washington and Russia was the main theme
On April 4, 1949, 12 European countries, together with the United States and Canada, came together to conceive the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, whose main objective was "to guarantee the stability of the Euro-Atlantic zone, especially in the face of possible attacks coming from of the Soviet Union", according to UNHCR. Thus, in case one of the countries suffered assaulted, the others would take action.
Leer en español: Lo que dejó los 70 años de la OTAN
Its creation took place just after the Second World War, where the Soviet Union presented itself as a powerful empire, since it had control over the entire half of Eastern Europe, as well as a part of Germany. In this way, this block would last 40 years being considered a threat by NATO, before falling during 1989 and 1991, thus reaching the end of the Cold War.
It's been a little over 27 years, and even now the picture does not seem very different. For NATO, nowadays, Russia is still a threat that needs to be controlled, and this is why the agenda of its 70th anniversary focused on ways to counteract it.
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Hates and loves
Since Donald Trump became president of the United States in 2017, he has been one of the main critics of the Organization, arguing that it was necessary for the other partners to provide more funds and the constant questions and pressures against "not spending enough money on defense ", according to La Nación.
In addition, in 2018 he stressed that he did not see the need for "the United States to defend a small member country like Montenegro and risk the country to a" third world war "(...), he also emphasized that the United States would only protect countries that pay their full fees", according to DW.
The foregoing taking into account that, in 2014, the Organization agreed to allocate 2% of its national GDP to defense spending by 2024, according to the same media. However, in 2018, "only five of the 29 countries exceeded what was agreed" (Greece, Great Britain, Estonia, Latvia and the United States). Trump's discontent went so far as to consider withdrawing from the Organization.
On the other hand, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, thanked the statements of Trump, since it highlights the strong commitment that the United States has with the organization. "NATO is a strong alliance, but to remain a strong alliance we must be fair. And that's why the allies have to invest more in defense", said the secretary general in the White House, where the meeting of ministers of the Organization took place in the midst of the 70 years of NATO.
Similarly, the secretary did not miss the opportunity to emphasize that "the United States is the backbone of our alliance, fundamental for European security and for our future", according to Voz de America.
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Russia is still a threat
Although the Cold War technically came to an end, for NATO the presence of Russia is still intimidating. According to La República, Stoltenberg made a call to the organization to a more assertive Russia, and in which the organization "identifies a pattern in Russian behavior, including a massive military reinforcement from the Arctic to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea".
The above is to counteract the influence of Russia in these strategic sites, "where in November Moscow forcibly captured three ships and 24 Ukrainian sailors to prevent them from crossing the Kerch Strait as they headed towards the Sea of Azov", according to with Infobae.
On the other hand, Stoltenberg said that the organization seeks to improve relations with Russia through dialogue: "we do all this not to provoke a conflict, but to avoid it and preserve peace. Not to fight, but to deter. Not to attack, but to defend. There is no contradiction between dissuasion, defense and dialogue. "
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "Lo que dejó los 70 años de la OTAN"