Der Spiegel: NATO plans stronger military ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova

NATO wants to strengthen its influence in the East Europe, the German Der Spiegel writes. According to the paper, the new “ice age” between the West and Russia has given new significance to NATO.

NATO foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the alliance’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

Before the meeting, a NATO committee drafted plans “for promoting stability in eastern Europe in the current context” by increasing military co-operation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova – all in Russia’s “near abroad.”

A confidential seven-page paper leaked to the German news weekly Der Spiegel proposed joint exercises and training between NATO and the three countries, increasing the “interoperability” of their militaries with NATO, and their participation in NATO “smart defense” operations.

The paper also proposed opening a NATO liaison office in Moldova, military training for Armenia, and projects in Azerbaijan aimed at securing its Caspian Sea oil and gas fields.

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