NATO

FILE PHOTO. Global Look Press / Kay Nietfeld
NATO 'experts' have developed an updated strategy, the bloc's chief Jens Stoltenberg revealed. And one doesn't have to look for long for an explanation, with 'bad Russia' conveniently cited as a reason for the overhaul.

"Our military experts have adopted a new military strategy for the alliance this week," NATO's Secretary General Stoltenberg told Germany's Die Welt.

The very ability to come up with a new strategy, according to NATO's chief, shows the alliance's strength, since "we are able to change when necessary."

No actual details about the strategy have emerged at this point. The need for an updated document was explained by Stoltenberg as a reaction to a "new security situation," as well as "challenges in the east and the south." The top brass also did not miss out on the opportunity to cite a commonly hyped "nuclear threat" from Moscow as one of the reasons.

While the Russia threat has been actively peddled by top NATO officials for years already, a change in the strategy apparently brings the standoff between Moscow and the bloc to a new level. The announcement was not taken lightly by Russia, with the country's top officials accusing NATO of plotting to eradicate Moscow as a "competitor" altogether.

"It's the sign of a doctrine to push Russia back. It [Russia] is not being held back any longer, it's being eliminated as a military and economic competitor," a member of Russia's upper house, Senator Oleg Morozov told RIA Novosti.

The alliance is actively training in rapid troops redeployment and modernizing its infrastructure. NATO has repeatedly staged various military exercises on its 'eastern flank' - basically, on Russian borders - focusing on the Baltic states and Poland, presented as the prime target for elusive "Russian aggression." While there is no actual proof for it, Russian military drills - held in its own territory - have repeatedly sparked mass hysteria among NATO officials, who portrayed them as preparations for covert and imminent invasions - that never actually happened.

Moscow insists that the whole "the Russians are coming" hysteria is used only to inflate military budgets of the alliance and creep even closer to the Russian border. Stoltenberg, on his part, praised Germany which agreed to increase its defense spending to 1.35 percent of GDP this year, adding that he expected Berlin to increase it even more in the years to follow.

The defense budgets of member states have been a major issue over the past few years, repeatedly brought up by US President Donald Trump. While the bloc's members pledged back in 2014 to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense, few actually managed to meet the mark. Trump, on his part, not only urged the 'allies' to pay up, but mulled raising the threshold even further, to four percent of GDP.