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Russia’s role on the agenda of the NATO summit

July 9th, 2016

A conservative columnist calls on NATO to stop provoking Russia. A left-wing commentator thinks that President Putin wants to restore his power through the military.

The NATO provocation along Russia’s borders should be stopped, István Lovas writes in Magyar Hírlap. The right-wing columnist finds it highly problematic that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced plans to deploy troops in the Baltic states, Poland and Romania and increase the NATO presence in the region to a level unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. Lovas interprets these steps as an open US provocation against Russia. He fears that NATO expansion may lead to armed conflict with Russia. If Russia really wanted to attack any of its Western neighbours, it could in three days sweep away the NATO troops based there, Lovas claims.

In Népszabadság, Gábor Miklós suggests that President Putin is flexing his muscles with provocative military manoeuvres so that he can strengthen his power at home – rather than preparing an attack on his Western neighbours or NATO members. Russia is no real threat for the Western world or NATO, the left-wing commentator contends. He suggests that Putin’s real enemy is democracy, the rule of law and a free media. The Russian economy is in a severe crisis and thus President Putin wants to increase his popularity by fighting imagined external enemies, Gábor concludes.

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