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NATO official wants 'military Schengen' in Europe, sparking threats from Kremlin

by Martin Fornusek November 24, 2023 5:24 PM 2 min read
General Alexander Sollfrank, at the time commander of German special forces, attends a public presentation on the 'Day of the Bundeswehr' at the Military Museum, on June 9, 2018. (Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The Kremlin criticized on Nov. 24 a NATO official's proposition for a military analog for the Schengen Area in Europe, issuing threats in response, the Russian state news agency TASS reported.

NATO's logistics command chief urged members on Nov. 23 to remove the red tape hindering troop movements across Europe, as it would impair a swift response in a potential conflict with Russia.

"We are running out of time. What we don't get done in peacetime won't be ready in case of a crisis or a war," the logistics chief, Lieutenant-General Alexander Sollfrank, told Reuters, stressing that allied militaries should be able to move freely between member states.

Russia called the statement an "instigation of tension in Europe" and a possible threat to its security.

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"Europe does not wish to heed our concerns, and Europe pushes aside the invariable principle of indivisible security, which means that they talk about their security to the detriment of ours," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

The spokesperson accused NATO of "moving towards" Russia and threatened with possible "countermeasures to ensure our (Russian) security."

Tensions between Moscow and NATO spiked following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, prompting even formally neutral states like Finland or Sweden to seek membership in the alliance over security concerns.

Russia has repeatedly labeled NATO as a threat to its own security and uses Kyiv's Euro-Atlantic aspirations as one of the justifications for its aggression.

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