Following the NATO Summit yesterday, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson again told Russia to back off in Ukraine.
NATO announced that it will establish six regional command posts (in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria) and expand the current Rapid Response Unit from 13,000 troops to 30,000 troops.
When asked if he thought the Rapid Response Unit would provoke Russia, and cause a larger conflict instead of ending the current situation in the Ukraine, Nicholson shrugged off the question. "Take a look at the way NATO is runs and has always run." Nicholson did stand firm on Canada not arming the Ukrainian Forces, but mentioned that the U.S. is still considering it.
It is true NATO has always encroached onto Russia territory, and pushed to have its defensive forces as close to Russia as possible. Now Georgia (which went to war in 2008 against Russia) is pushing for membership to NATO, and Canada fully supports the inclusion of the former Soviet state.
Russia on the other hand, has not yet backed down to any NATO placement in Europe, and believes the Rapid Response Unit will only cause further conflict.
To read the original Ottawa Citizen article:
Defence Minister Nicholson not worried about Russia