From the Wall Street Journal: I have just returned from a committee meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels, where the issue was hotly debated. From the NATO side, the response was that this is a bilateral issue, meaning anyone can sell anything to anyone, especially a so-called partner country.

When, at NATO’s North Atlantic Council, I raised the issue of selling high-tech military equipment to a non-NATO country—which could lead to serious security issues—the French response was that the ships in question would have civil applications and that the deal was still under discussion. Furthermore, unless there were guarantees from the Russian Federation that the usage would be for peacekeeping, the deal would not go through.

Later, I was asked why the Baltics are ”afraid of our little ships’?’

The answer is simple. Because the buyer is unpredictable, as evidenced by the illegal occupation of Georgian territories, and because NATO is viable as a defense organization only if its policies are based on collective security for all its members—not the economic interests of some.

Statement by Vaira Paegle, MP, Republic of Latvia.  (photo: AFP)