Coffee House

Would the word ‘NATO’ make Vladimir Putin think twice?

17 April 2014

Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States will meet in Geneva later today in order to find a solution to the confrontation in eastern Ukraine. There is not much hope of success. The Obama administration has been lowering expectations, so too the Foreign Office.

Kiev’s heavy-handedness in eastern Ukraine has embarrassed the western allies; not least because the military deployment yesterday exposed Ukraine’s inherent weakness: government forces were either incapable or reluctant to enforce Kiev’s writ in the east of the country. There were further violent clashes overnight. Kiev says that 3 ‘Russian separatists’ were killed and 13 wounded when trying to seize a military installation on the Sea of Azov. Anti-Russian demonstrations are expected in Donetsk province today, which is likely to antagonise ethnic Russians, whose rights Vladimir Putin has vowed to protect.

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Russia continues to mix bellicosity with our own liberal pieties. Putin has stationed perhaps as many as 40,000 troops on the Ukrainian frontier, while proclaiming the rights of ethnic Russians to self-determine. Russia wants constitutional reform and devolution that would allow regional Ukrainian governors to move closer to Moscow, which is unacceptable to those who would maintain Ukraine’s administrative integrity as well as its territory.

The United States and the European Union want to de-escalate the crisis. They demand that both sides in Ukraine stand down, and that Russian forces withdraw from the frontier. A negotiated settlement can then begin. As to what this settlement would look like, particularly in its finer details, is not yet clear. The western powers cannot negotiate the sovereignty of Ukraine over the heads of Kiev, and Russia has given itself no space to negotiate. It’s very difficult to see how there can be a diplomatic resolution at this stage. Sticks, therefore, are being prepared.

The United States is threatening more sanctions and there is talk of giving ‘non-lethal’ aid to the Ukrainian military – medical supplies, boots, uniforms and so on (which says everything you need to know about Kiev’s muscle). The French foreign ministry, meanwhile, has said that if talks fail then the European Union will impose sanctions on Russia. Whether or not such sanctions would be effective is debatable; European countries depend, to varying degrees, on Russian natural resources, and Putin has exploited that power before.

There are, very obviously, limits to what the European Union can do without a coherent foreign policy, let alone armed forces. The United States, too, seems exhausted after 13 years of war. Notwithstanding these facts and impressions, NATO is still a mighty stick. Vladimir Putin appears to understand, and perhaps even respect, force rather better than diplomatic courtesy and the conventions of international law. He is, after all, a KGB man, not a graduate of UNICEF. NATO has announced that it is increasing its presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states – a clear message to Putin that his dreams of restoring the ‘Russian empire’ must end at those borders. Perhaps the Secretary General of NATO should be at the negotiation table?

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Show comments
  • Realpolitik

    Your ignorance on this topic is astounding, NATO is one of the three triggers for the Ukraine takeover. NATO (USA) spent 5 billion funding a coup, they want missile bases along the border with Russia, the EU want to further their reach, and the banks want to exploit the Ukraine. Everyone wins. Except Russia and the people of Ukraine.

  • CharlietheChump

    Somebody needs to start carrying a big stick

  • Smithersjones2013

    There are, very obviously, limits to what the European Union can do without a coherent foreign policy,

    Don’t encourage the power obsessed control freaks……

  • filmar

    Yep the word NATO and force is the only thing Putin understands. He all of a sudden wants to talk more about things, of course he does, he cant even put a dent in NATO if he tried and he knows it. Putin said he would send in troops if Ukraine used force against the pro Russian Militants in Ukraine. News flash, it has already happened and I don’t see your forces you massed at the boarder doing anything. Oh wait that is because NATO has already started to deploy more forces to the area

    • Wessex Man

      Oh my word you have such faith, NATO is a the size of the British Forces at the end of the Korean War.

      • filmar

        LOL your funny, NATO can take Russia without breaking much of a sweat. Putin knows it and that’s why the clown is not doing much now is he

  • an ex-tory voter

    If NATO or the EU decide to “face down” Putin and his 40,000 troops, and if David Cameron is stupid enough to send any members of the British Armed Forces to assist in the said “facing down” he is likely to face “the mother of all anti-war battles”. For exactly the same reason the USA is not going to send any troops either. So, any meeting and subsequent statement by NATO, the EU, the USA or HMG is going to be viewed by Putin as just so much “wind and p-ss”.
    Meanwhile, the EU’s biggest manufacturing economy depends on Russian gas!!

    It is time the EU, UK and USA sat down, shut up and ceased stoking the fires of conflict. The EU’s borders will just have to remain a little West of it’s aspiration for a good few years to come.

  • dado_trunking

    We have come to understand that over time, words change their meaning or no longer have a meaning full stop. Nato and Trident are such words.

  • komment

    How close is close? Even John Kerry concedes the 40,000 Russian troops are 50km inside Russia, they are hardly massing on the border.
    NATO is not so much dead as lost, the day it morphed into the military enforcer for Global Finance it stopped serving the people it was established to defend.
    The position of Secretary General of the organisation is an opportunity for hitherto failed politicians to demonstrate real Diplomatic skils in helping to solve crisis, instead they choose the route of confrontation and deceive themselves tinto believing they are not part of the problem. The present incumbent is nothing more than a wannabe celebrity.

  • Jez

    Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse; Kerry has crashed the Geneva peace talks.

    That’s probably the equivalent of Abu Hamza turning up at a ladies meet and greet morning at the village Church hall.

    • Denis_Cooper

      “Secretary of State John Kerry began talks here on Thursday with his counterparts from Ukraine, Russia and the European Union”

      Can anyone spot the odd one out among those four?

      • Denis_Cooper

        Well, as nobody has pointed it out – Ukraine, Russia and the US are all sovereign countries, while the odd one out is the EU which has not yet achieved its aspiration to become a country, the sovereign federal United States of Europe, and is still no more than an international organisation established by treaties between sovereign countries.

        • Wessex Man

          you never gave me the chance, the one I didn’t was the UK

          who will be the poor bloody infantry again commanded by Field Marshal hooky!

          • dmitri the impostor

            Bwaaahaha! Field Marshall Hooky! Wearing a three-cornered hat and putting a telescope to his Nelsonian eye while sitting the wrong way on his horse. Field Marshall Hooky, indeed. Thank you, you just made my Easter.

  • Jez

    The MSM here are complicit in any escalation. The level of accuracy has only been surpassed in recent History by the Libyan nightmare.

    ….. saying that, watching FOX News’ take on the situation last night, you may have thought that John Kerry himself had written the pro-war rhetoric.

    • kyalami

      If you watch Fox News, you only have yourself to blame.

      The escalation has been caused by Putin: see what he did in Crimea and what he is clearly agitating in the east of the Ukraine. And let’s not forget Georgia.

      • Jez

        Georgia invaded South Ossetia. Point blank. Undeniable.

        I watch all news channels to see the angle from all sides. This is a priceless opportunity to not get bogged down in cynical propaganda from any party.

        • kyalami

          Not quite undeniable, since you can’t invade your own country.

          • Jez

            So it was a security operation?

            • kyalami

              It was an attempt by Georgia to keep itself intact.

  • Tom Tom

    Next time you get the wooden jigsaw pieces and try to get children to see how the First War started – and the German General Staff were on holiday in July assuming no possibility of war – then get them to assemble the pieces from current events.

    This is a perfect example of Western politicians who have NO grasp of history, no sense of danger. Complete buffoons on the world stage.

    The last time an Army reinforced itself on the borders of Russia, flew its planes along the borders of Russia, it was The Wehrmacht. If Russia is not scaling the DEFCON system it would be highly surprising.

    The Cuba situation in 1962 was caused by US missiles in Turkey aimed at the USSR – the US was very lucky Khrushchev blinked with 100 tactical nuclear warheads already in Cuba targetted on US cities.

    This is an existential threat to Russia. With the record of Britain, France and USA the Russians should be expecting an attack at any time and be on full war alert. This is the reason for the Topol and Satan missiles.

    It seems clear that NATO is preparing to trigger a nuclear war and divert attention from the disastrous economic situation

    • Jez

      “This is a perfect example of Western politicians who have NO grasp of history, no sense of danger.”


      • Wessex Man

        That was what I was going to mark up!

    • kyalami

      Get back on the pills. No-one in Western Europe or the USA wants a war.

    • Denis_Cooper

      I will mark up all of your comment apart from the last paragraph.

      • Wessex Man

        I was going to, then thought no it will only encourage him.

  • Jez

    “The United States and the European Union want to de-escalate the crisis.”


  • Denis_Cooper

    I can’t see the point of this article beyond indirectly promoting what seems to be the author’s misconception that diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis would be more successful if a representative of the NATO military alliance was at today’s meeting to threaten Russia with military action.

    That ignores the reality that NATO is not an independent actor which should be able to put forward its independent point of view at the meeting.

    If you correctly arranged the NATO members on this side on the Atlantic in one circle and correctly arranged the EU members in another circle then you could slide one circle onto the other with an almost complete overlap, with just a few of the EU members not in NATO and just a few of the NATO members on this side of the Atlantic not in the EU.

    To a pretty good first approximation, therefore, the representative of the EU at the meeting also serves as the representative of NATO this side of the Atlantic, and of course to a very good first approximation the representative of the US also serves as the representative of NATO on the other side of the Atlantic, Canada being the only other NATO member on that side of the ocean.

    And the three of them, the EU, NATO and the US, are now so closely connected that they can be collectively described as the “EU/NATO/US troika”, all three are harnessed side-by-side and all three are usually pulling in much the same direction, which in this case is projected to be eastwards around and across the Black Sea to the Caucusus, and then across the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, with the US providing most of the military muscle for NATO to secure each new territory before the EU can move in to supply it with its civil administration.

    • HookesLaw

      NATO has got nothing to do with the EU. It includes the USA by far its biggest component, Canada and Norway which are not in the EU.
      You talk a troika of garbage ironically with just the one eye.

      • Denis_Cooper

        “NATO has got nothing to do with the EU.”

        Of course not, even though on its website:

        Eurocorps presents itself as:

        “A Force for NATO and the European Union”.
        You’re not just a liar, you’re a stupid liar.

        • HookesLaw

          NATO has nothing to do with the EU. And what is ‘Eurocorps’? Your avvin a laff.

          • Denis_Cooper

            “And what is ‘Eurocorps’?”

            Suddenly incapable of clicking on a link, are you?

  • FF42

    Putin doesn’t “think twice”. So no, the word “NATO” won’t have any effect on him.

    if you can’t do anything short-term then take a long term approach. The West should ignore Putin, bolster the Ukrainian government if it wants to be bolstered, divest itself from Russia and at the same time hold out the prospect of investment if it behaves according to the norms that most other countries do actually respect.

    From a Ukrainian point of view, the Russian policy of divide and conquer is a dead-end. This is unfortunate because Ukraine needs a good relationship with Russia. It would best join forces with a West that is showing unusual in country at the moment and try to create a prosperous civic state. It won’t be easy and they may not have the will to do so, but this represents Ukraine’s best chance of breaking out of the mess it finds itself in. It may lose the eastern provinces, which will be bad for Ukraine and even worse for those provinces, but whatever it does it will pay a high price. It needs to progress.

    Russia, which is achieving the difficult task of more or less uniting Europe, will stew in its own juice. Maybe eventually they will discover that their interests are better served by an effective, prosperous and independent minded Ukraine than by the current dysfunctional mess that is encouraged by Russia.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Except, Russia’s actions can be interpreted as making Ukraine “independent minded” as you say, rather than fixed to the EUSSR and NATO.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Unfortunately this article utterly fails to consider the real nature of the situation on the ground (as do Western politicians). The history of the Ukraine since independence is of economic collapse and the spread of corruption under the various regimes. After many centuries of occupation by assorted Poles, Russians, Mongols, Lithuanians, Austro-Hungarians, Tatars, Cossacks and Uncle Tom Cobleigh they have proved incapable of establishing successful self-government. Ukrainians of Russian heritage will remember better times with double the economic output under Russia. Even those with other sympathies – aside from the pinnacles benefiting from corruption – will know that things were actually better in the past, even if the Russians tended to have had the better of it.

    The danger of civil war between clans of boyars seeking influence is great. The attraction of imposed order, coupled with the prospect of better economic stability must be strong to the Russophile elements. The West doesn’t have the beginnings of a plan to help the rest.

    Invoking NATO would be of no use whatever to deal with the social and economic collapse that is the root of Ukrainian problems.

  • El_Sid

    The West couldn’t stop the Russians overrunning Eastern Europe in 1945, when we had the biggest armed forces ever. Why should 2014 be any different to 1945?

    • Frank

      You clearly don’t know much history as regards the second world war. The West was perfectly happy to allow Russia to clear the Germans from Eastern Europe. Once the Germans had been defeated, there was a question as to whether the West should just keep going to get rid of Stalin, but the general consensus was that most people in the West had no appetite for further combat. I assume that the Americans would have used a nuke had they decided to get rid of Stalin, so the relative strength of the armies has little to do with the probably outcome.
      If Putin thinks that going to war with NATO is worth it because he will get his hands on Ukraine, then he is clearly even more barking than he appears.

      • Tom Tom

        The West could not have coped with it……80% German casualties were on
        the Eastern Front and the Western Allies had the easy bit and almost
        lost it in The Ardennes. The US threatened to use nuclear weapons in
        1948 and simply made it imperative for the USSR to have them too

        • HookesLaw

          We did not almost lose it in the Ardennes which was a diaster for Hitler as he denuded his eastern front of resources. The catrestrophic failure of the offensive actually made it easier for us to get to Berlin first if we had wanted to.
          And the USA did not threaten the USSR with the bomb in 1948. Russia officially started to build one in 1946 and tested its first bomb as early as 1949, it had stolen the secrets anyway.

          You may of course be referring to the stationing of B29s both at the time of the Berlin crisis and airlift and towards the end of the Korean War. But this conveniently ignores the pre-existing communist aggression.

          • Tom Tom

            Well you should ask troops fighting in The Ardennes…..but for fuel
            constraints and a change in the weather, the Allies would have been in
            major difficulty

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Well, the fuel constraints were the whole point of the air campaign, after it finally kicked in proper in 1944. The Nazis ran out of fuel and they knew it. So Watch on the Rhine was doomed to fail anyway. Weather didn’t matter, and both sides have to deal with it. Eventually, in clear weather, the Nazis would be incinerated from the air, and the weather only needs to clear for a few hours to light the fires.

              Stalin murdered 14.5M of his own soldiers in that war. This business of praising that self slaughter is shameful. He murdered them just as Eichmann murdered at Auschwitz.

    • HookesLaw

      Russia did not over run Eastern Europe in 1945, they advanced and defeated the german army in the east. The notion that we should then have declared war on Russia and sacrificed the lives of score and hundreds of thousands of soldiers is risible. It also ignores the slight problem of the UK not having any more manpower and being slightly bankrupt.

      Post 1945 Russia installed puppet government in eastern europe. In the end Eastern Europe was freed thanks to our success in the cold war.

      • Tom Tom

        more due to Gorbachev than anyone else

        • HookesLaw

          Always ready to deny history I see.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          What did Gorby do?

      • Jez

        They over ran Eastern Europe Hookeslaw.

        It’s in the writings of Marx i think about global revolution or something.

        It’s been carried on by our Universities this last 3 decades……you must have heard about it?

        • HookesLaw

          How else where they to get to Berlin? We over ran France and the Low Countries and Italy.

          • Jez

            There were some interesting exchanges between Molotov and Ribbentrop on the run up to Barbarossa that may lean slightly toward indicating an expansionist policy at the heart of the USSR world view.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              They did more than indicate it. The Sovs wanted to run over everybody. But running them out of Eastern Europe would have been a chore.

          • Wessex Man

            We didn’t sign a non agression pact with Hitler then shared Poland.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Before they could advance the Soviets had to hold and defeat the Germans at Stalingrad, which is about 1200 miles to the west of Astana in Kazakhstan where your idiot Prime Minister went last July to say that he wanted the EU to stretch from the Atlantic to the Urals.

        • HookesLaw

          Your point if their is one seems aimless. Cameron specifically referred to the EU as a trading organisation and said it needed reform and said
          “We have to make this organisation flexible enough to include both sorts of country. In my view the euro countries clearly need to integrate more. If you have a single currency you need to have an integrated banking system, you need to have an integrated fiscal system. You need to make sure you have quite a lot of rules. You need solidarity.
          So you need change in the single currency. And then
          you need to make the EU more flexible so that it can include countries like Britain or other countries that want to be in this trading, co-operating partnership but don’t want the currency.
          That is why I have argued for a renegotiation of the rules of the EU between now and 2017. I have said that, if re-elected, I will hold a referendum by the end of 2017 to give the British people a choice about whether they want to stay in this organisation, which would be changed by then, or to leave this organisation.”

          All of which points to a perfectly sound reason for voting conservative rather than letting in a Europhile Labour Party led by the crypto marxist Milibabnd.

          • Wessex Man

            You are a fruitcake and nutjob! How do you explain Barasoso saying that the EU was an Empire?

          • Denis_Cooper

            Except that the EU is not what Cameron may say he would like it to be, and nor will it change at his behest, and people who want to leave it should vote for a party which wants to leave it not one which is determined to keep us in it .

      • Wessex Man

        you take too much credit, what Division did you lead?

  • Frank

    David, in due course, the US and the EU will place thousands of names on the list for sanctions and travel bans (including all of Vlad’s little oligarchs and their families). They will then presumably cut off all trade finance and all credit. All this takes time, so it is probably not that apparent that a massive sink hole is about to open up.

  • Keith D

    Theres not a snowballs that Putin will attempt any
    significant pressure on the Baltic States or Poland. He’s not a lunatic and the
    NATO reinforcements are a signal, not to Russia, but of reassurance to these
    new partners. NATO will honour treaty obligations, but Putin knows it will go
    no further, burdened as it is by the weakest president ever seen in my

    Whats astonishing to me is that the unelected EU have
    managed to effectively destroy any hopes the Ukraine had of joining. A
    spectacular own goal that surely must mean the end for the odious Ashton and
    her entourage of socialist nondescripts.

    That will help us beleageured citizens of the anti
    democratic EU but will do nothing to ease the pain in Ukraine.

    The Russian agitation in the east of the country is surely,
    unlike the fait accompli in Crimea, meant to focus minds in Kiev on a federal
    solution where Russian speakers interests are no longer threatened by Kievs
    ultra nationalist right wing.

    Good job Belarus is close to Putin or that idiot Ashton
    would have tried it there too.

  • Keith D

    You censors are on steroids today aren’t you? Pathetic.

  • @PhilKean1

    NATO is dead. Cameron’s Coalition’s catastrophic defence cuts killed it.

    However – America, Russia, Ukraine and the EU? Why isn’t Britain at this meeting?

    Britain. You know, NATO’s second biggest player? UN P5 member? World’s 6/7/8th largest economy? World’s second largest contributor of state aid to dictators and corrupt officials? The country from which sprang the majority of the world’s medicines and inventions?

    What happened to the argument that Britain’s membership of the EU would guarantee our position on the world stage?
    What happened to the suggestion that British influence would be enhanced by EU membership?

    Not only is Britain not now mentioned when nations meet to discuss world problems, but we have a foreign institution speaking on our behalf and substituting our opinions with theirs.

    • HookesLaw

      of course NATO is not dead. You find ever new ways to show how thick you are. the govt is currently spending billions building the two biggest ships in RN history – the biggest by an enormous margin – and also purchasing at huge expense exotic jets to fly off them. The govt has a fully funded 160 billion defence procurement programme. We have one of the biggest defence budgets in the world.

      Including properly trained and eqiuipped reservists the army will be bigger than the equivalent inherited from labour. We are pulling out of Afghanistan earlier than Labour programmed.

      The USA is making massive defence cuts.

      • @PhilKean1

        HMS White and Off-White Elephant.

        Two of the most extravagantly useless floating objects and the most senseless and expensive military procurements of all time.

        Wrongly configured. Two large for their intended purpose of ONLY flying VSTOL aircraft.
        No ability to launch an adequate AEW, transport and refuelling capability. Conventionally powered.

        A concept built around, oh yes, built around an expensive, over-complicated, untested and problem-ridden American jet which, if it proves to be a disaster, relegates the floating metal to being the biggest helicopter carriers ever built.

        That we allegedly have the 4th biggest defence budget in the world doesn’t necessarily mean we have the 4th most potent capability.
        There are nations smaller than ours who could whip our backsides and close our sea-routes.

        • HookesLaw

          I would not have commissioned these ships – but they were ordered (by the labour party) and are being built – and the planes are being bought. This is a massive investment in our armed forces.

          No one is going to close ouir sea routes, we are part of the biggest military alliance in the world and our home defence is secure.
          You are a hysteric howling mad loony tune nutjob.

          • @PhilKean1

            You boast about these ships and talk them up, and then agree with me that the Labour party were irresponsible and incompetent for ordering them – and the accountant appointed by Cameron as Defence Secretary cared more about cutting costs than getting the right equipment?

            No one is going to close our sea routes? Time is coming when America will leave us to our own devices. Also, Iran threatened to close the straights of Hormuz, a move which would have cut the supply of oil to Britain from Saudi Arabia.

            And then you finish off with your usual bout of rabid insults.

            • Wessex Man

              He is I suspect falling off his trolley.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …and he may have bounced a few times during the fall. Those trolleys are such a danger.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …what “massive defence cuts” is the US making, lad? I hadn’t heard that. It’s sort of like you Camerluvvies, they “talk” about making “cuts”, but of course the actual budgets and debt continue skyrocketing.

  • zanzamander

    US needs a bogey man to keep NATO alive and in Russia it has a ready made one brought forward from the Cold War days.

    Look around the world today, can you see any conflict where NATO has even a tiny role to play? No. NATO is dead, it died with the fall of Soviet Union.

    But without NATO, US would have no business in Europe. It would be just like what Canada is to us, no, sorry, like what Mexico is to us (I just realised, actually Canada is far more civilised and important to us).

    And another thing, without NATO, Turkey’s dream of joining the EU would also evaporate. US desperately wants this Islamic country to join the corrupt undemocratic club of EU (no wonder US is such a big fan of EU). So by keeping NATO alive, US gets to keep everything.

    Kill NATO and you will see an end to US tyranny and its support of terrorist sponsoring countries around the world.

    • Frank

      US/Saudi tyranny??? What planet do you live on?

      • Tom Tom

        I think people in Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, might agree with him and in
        Iraq where Al-Qaeda is busy trying to seize Baghdad having moved forces
        from Syria to Iraq……all backed by Saudi Arabia. Be funny when MSM
        finally mentions what is going on in Iraq……..all that waste of
        effort by Britain

        • the viceroy’s gin

          The people in Egypt, Bahrain and Syria and Iraq, too, will have tyranny whichever way they turn, so that doesn’t really support the guy’s statements.

      • HookesLaw

        Planet Nutjob, orbiting just beyond the Screaming Loony Belt.

        • Wessex Man

          NURSE!!!!!!!!!!! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Chris Morriss

        I would have said: Israeli/Saudi tyranny, with the USA hanging on to their coat-tails.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Germany was the big player re Ukraine. Merkel bent over backwards towards those people in the streets. She wants the US in Europe and NATO, as that’s in her interests, and the Ukraine fiasco facilitates US involvement.

  • JoeDM

    The EU and the USA created this mess in the first place by destabilising the democratically elected government of the Ukraine and encouraging a coup which put in place the current illegal government that includes fascists of the worse sort.

    The EU and USA now start complaining when Russia gets concerned about the unstable state on its southern boarders !!!!

    The Ukraine is not a member of NATO. It is not in the EU. The EU and USA have no business getting involved.

    • HookesLaw

      There were mass protests against a fraudulently elected govt who wanted to take it into Soviet control against the will of the great majority of its people. Secret Police snipers killed scores of protestors.

      • Wessex Man

        Oh you halfwit, is that why the troops sent in to ‘sort it out’ never bothered but gave their weapons to the crowds of protesters?

      • Tom Tom

        Funny that because the German press has recordings made by a radio ham of police snipers asking on their radios who was firing – because they weren’t. There were snipers but not from the government

        • colliemum

          I’d be very interested in a link to that report, please – not that I doubt you, Tom Tom, but just for my files.
          Thank you.

          • Tom Tom
            • colliemum

              Again – thank you very much!
              I missed that as I’ve got enough to do to keep up with SPIEGELonline,, and NZZ, not to mention the various other sites and blogs. After all, that dog of mine wants some attention as well.

              • Wessex Man

                you should get out more.

                • colliemum

                  Don’t worry, sweetie – my current Border Collie sees to my ‘being out’ all right. Are four hours a day enough for you?

  • Alex As

    NATO is a paper tiger. Puntin never minds NATO.

    • Frank

      Umm, I wouldn’t bet your little stipend from Russia on that being true. If push comes to shove, Vlad will be toast quicker than you can spell defeat.

      • Tom Tom

        Really ? Well I guess we can say goodbye to a lot of Americans and
        Britons before that happens…… prices in London will be

        • HookesLaw

          Srtrikes me more Russians with both sense and money will be trying to get both out of Russia as quick as they can at the moment.

          • Wessex Man

            When did you ever know anything about sense you EUSSR apologist you!

    • serialluncher

      Nato is the most successful security organisation in history. They faced down the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. Putin’s actions will most likely make Nato stronger and more united.

      • Wessex Man

        “I dreamt a dream.”

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