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Scholz to Putin: We are prepared to defend ‘every square inch’ of NATO territory

“This turnaround in security policy is necessary to show Russia: We are prepared to defend every square inch of NATO territory against attacks,” Scholz said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Credit: open sources
Scholz to Putin: We are prepared to defend ‘every square inch’ of NATO territory

NATO’s recent efforts to bolster its eastern border are designed to deter Russia, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized on Sunday. He underscored that Moscow must understand the alliance’s readiness to defend itself if required.

Speaking at the Eastern German Economic Forum, Scholz highlighted Germany’s pivotal role in NATO’s presence in the Baltic region along Russia’s border, a commitment that has been in place for nearly a decade, Reuters reports.

“And because the threat from Russia will continue, we and other allies decided last year to deploy additional units to the Baltic states and to station an entire brigade there permanently in future,” Scholz said, according to a speech manuscript. “But this turnaround in security policy is necessary to show Russia: We are prepared to defend every square inch of NATO territory against attacks.”

Scholz stressed that effective diplomacy must be backed by strength, emphasizing the crucial need for Baltic states to rely on NATO allies in the event of a Russian assault. “And that is a message for us. But it is also a message to Russia. Because the credibility of this promise is of course also part of Russia’s calculation.”

Earlier this week, Putin warned NATO members against allowing Ukraine to use their weapons to strike inside Russia, following the lifting of restrictions by several Western allies on the use of weapons supplied to Kyiv.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg responded to these warnings on Friday, dismissing them by stating that the alliance had heard them many times before and that self-defense did not equate to escalation.

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