Can Nato stop Putin?

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the World EconomicForum yesterday that the Alliance has two fundamental tasks in response to Russia’s aggression: To provide support to Ukraine, and to prevent the war from escalating and causing even greater death and destruction. The support is coming in the form of equipment and training for tens of thousands of soldiers, he said, and the reason Nato made it clear that it will provide support is to make sure that the war does not escalate into full-fledged war in Europe. There are 100,000 Nato troops on high alert, ready to respond to any aggression and to defend every inch of Nato territory, he said. “We have 40,000 troops under direct Nato command in the eastern part of the Alliance, significantly increased over the last month since the invasion.” He expressed confidence that this deterrence will prevent escalation. Yet PM Petr Fiala says that, “If Putin is not stopped in Ukraine, his army will one day be on our borders. First probably in the Baltics, but then soon in the CR.” Isn’t Fiala in effect saying that Nato’s defense of its eastern flank would not hold Russia back?

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