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Merkel backs NATO build-up in eastern Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused Russia of "unsettling" NATO-allies with its actions in Ukraine. In her speech before the parliament, the chancellor called for both "deterrence and dialogue" with Moscow.
Merkel backs NATO build-up in eastern Europe

NATO needs to show a strong military presence on its eastern flank, said Merkel while addressing lawmakers in Berlin on Thursday, Deutsche Welle reports.

Moscow had caused a loss of trust with the West by putting “the validity of law and the inviolability of frontiers” into question, according to the chancellor.

“In the east, Russia has deeply unsettled our allies by its actions in Ukraine,” said Merkel. “They now need a clear reassurance through the alliance,” she added, urging “visible and reliable” solidarity with other NATO members.

The speech comes ahead of a large NATO summit in Warsaw,where the member states are expected to approve the largest military build-up in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. Germany is set to coordinate a NATO force of about 1,000 soldiers in Lithuania starting next year.

Berlin is also set to boost its defense spending, aiming for the NATO guideline of two percent of the national BDP.

In her address, Merkel thanked the United States for “taking on the main burden” of NATO deployments around the world. The German chancellor also praised the expansion of NATO to the east, which should see Montenegro join the alliance soon.

Ukraine and Georgia have also asked for the alliance’s protection against the alleged Russian threat.

“We are not closing the (NATO) door,” Merkel said, without naming future NATO members.

German head of government called for both “deterrence and dialogue” in dealing with Moscow, adding that “they are not contradictions, they are indeed inseparable.”

Merkel also stressed that “security in Europe can only be accomplished with Russia and not against it.”