Russia’s annexation of Crimea and threats to southern and eastern Ukraine has made the world a different place, a senior NATO military official said.
The Russian moves endanger NATO’s aspiration of a Europe “whole, free and at peace,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark O. Schissler, the deputy chairman of NATO’s Military Committee. “Maybe the freedom of every country is not assured now either.”
Schissler spoke to reporters traveling with Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dempsey is here for the Chiefs of Defense Meeting.
The chiefs of defense discussed Russia-Ukraine during their meetings at NATO headquarters.
Russia’s moves in Crimea and Ukraine are really new threats to the alliance. NATO officials have trouble describing what has taken place there and what the appropriate reactions are.
“It’s not warfare. It is confrontation. It is aggression,” Schissler said.