Russia NOT Preparing To Attack NATO: Senior Official

Admiral Robert Bauer has indicated the bloc should prepare better, while Moscow dismisses attack speculation as “complete nonsense”

There are no signs that Russia is preparing for an attack on NATO, according to Admiral Robert Bauer, the head of the bloc’s Military Committee.

Speaking to reporters in Riga on Friday, Bauer, who led the Dutch armed forces from 2017 to 2021, declared that “there is no indication that Russia is planning to attack any NATO member state.”

While emphasizing that he did not think “there is a direct threat,” he suggested that “Russia’s ambitions extend beyond Ukraine.” Bauer stated that this meant that the US-led military bloc should be better prepared for a potential stand-off.

He also commented on the upcoming US election in November, which will likely be a rematch between former US President Donald Trump and incumbent Joe Biden. The admiral mentioned that he was not concerned about a Trump victory, explaining that Trump’s controversial remarks about NATO were not directed at the bloc itself, but rather at the fact that some members need to increase their defense spending.

Speaking at a campaign rally last month, Trump recounted a conversation with an unnamed NATO leader during his time in office. According to his account, he informed his counterpart that he would not protect his country from Russia unless it paid its defense bills.

Many NATO countries have faced challenges in meeting the agreed threshold of 2% of GDP for defense spending, but the process gained momentum following the start of the Ukraine crisis in 2014 and particularly after Russia’s military operation against Kiev in 2022.

According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, approximately 18 members of the bloc are expected to meet the guideline in 2024. The NATO chief has also stated that European members of the bloc will spend $380 billion on defense this year.

This comes as several Western leaders have warned in recent weeks that Russia could launch an attack on NATO within a few years. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed speculation that Moscow could initiate an offensive against the US-led military bloc as “utter nonsense” intended to “extort money” from the populations of Western countries.