BRUSSELS – A NATO general says Russia's recent behavior and actions show its leaders only respect power.
Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel said the Kremlin "sees the liberal approach, the democratic approach, discussions, compromise as a weakness." Pavel, chairman of NATO's Military Committee, made the remarks in a videotaped interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty provided Wednesday to The Associated Press.
As long as the Russians maintain their attitude, Pavel said NATO "has to show our resolve to act whenever necessary." Without provoking Moscow, the general said, the U.S. and its allies "want to demonstrate that we are ready and willing to act if we have to."
After Russian annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, NATO began the largest reinforcement of its collective defense since the Cold War.