Matthew Bryza, director of the Tallinn-based International Centre for Defence Studies, said that while visiting Estonia, the US President Barack Obama should promise to scrap the Russia-NATO Founding Act.
Matthew Bryza
© Reuters/Scanpix

Russia and NATO signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security in 1997 in Paris, according to which the treaty organisation is not supposed to set up military bases in the vicinity of Russia.

However, Matthew Bryza, a former US Ambassador in Azerbaijan and now director of the Estonia-based non-profit public policy research organisation devoted to the analysis of security and defence policy, argues in an interview with Eesti Päevaleht that the old pact between NATO and Russia has lost legitimacy in light of the Russian incursion into Ukraine.

"Russia violated the terms of Budapest Memorandum that guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Why should NATO stick to the 1997 Founding Act, agreed in completely different times?" Bryza told the paper.

Bryza concedes that NATO will not set up large military bases in the Baltic states, but President Obama should at least set the ground for permanent bases in Eastern Europe. He also stresses the need to place NATO prepositioned weapons systems in the Baltics.

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