NATO Makes Believe It Doesn't Notice Russian Warnings
May 10, 2012 • 7:45AM

At a press briefing on the upcoming NATO summit May 7, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu was at pains to make believe that she, and NATO, were unaware of any serious conflict upcoming with the Russians over the activation of the European ABM system. Most of the discussion focussed on so-called "Smart Defense", apparently the catch phrase for adaptation to budget cuts, or killing more for less, but the first question, by National Public Radio, raised the Makarov warning (mistating the date).

Lungescu evaded the question by saying, "I haven't seen the statement from General Makarov today." She then repeated the standard li(n)e that NATO 's system "is neither designed nor directed against Russia," adding that "We have no intention to attack Russia. And we hope that NATO [sic] has no intention of attacking us, because that is the spirit of the NATO-Russia founding act of 15 years ago and of the Lisbon Summit in 2010."

Asked later about Russia coming to the NATO summit, Lungescu would only insist they had been invited, but said she didn't know whether they had answered. (It has been clear for some time that Russia won't attend.)

Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen is scheduled to give the next press conference on Friday, May 11, at the Residence Palace in Brussels.