Final Word from Monday, September 22, 2014

Everyone is familiar with Article 5 of the Nato treaty, which provides a mutual-defense guarantee to all members, but nearly as important is Article 4. It states that member nations will "consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened." PM Bohuslav Sobotka said in Parliament on Sept. 10 that it is not possible to enlarge the EU or Nato if the price is escalation of military tension between Europe and Russia. This directly contradicts the statement by Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, made after steps were taken in Wales to advance Georgia toward Nato membership, that "no third country has a veto over Nato enlargement." Sobotka was seemingly saying that, yes indeed, Russia should have a veto. Article 4 of the Nato treaty requires Sobotka to express his concerns to the country's Nato partners. There is no public record suggesting that he did. To do so first in the Czech Parliament could be seen as a violation of the spirit of the Nato treaty. [Czech Republic charter NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization]

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