NATO angry at traffic lights alliance

“We will use NATO more as a platform for political consultations between Allies”: this was agreed by allied heads of government at their last meeting in June. It was the conclusion of a lengthy thought process that began in late 2019 when French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged that the alliance was mentally dead. Paris and Berlin are on fire due to a new culture of debate. It is now establishing itself, albeit in a manner typical of NATO. Conflicts happen internally, behind closed doors; Little of it is revealed. This can be seen in two examples that occupied the interest of foreign ministers in Riga: in the struggle for nuclear disarmament and in dealing with the mission in Afghanistan.

Thomas Gotchaker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries, based in Brussels.

On the first topic, Berlin can, of course, be very happy about the low level of propaganda – because important NATO members are upset with the new Traffic Light Alliance before it takes office. This is due to a clause in the alliance agreement that has not yet received much attention in Berlin, but rather in Brussels. “As an observer (and not as a member) of the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the intent of the Treaty will be accompanied constructively,” the Ampel Partners decide. The treaty was negotiated within the United Nations and entered into force earlier this year. The 86 signatories so far have pledged not only not to develop or accept nuclear weapons, but also not to place them, threaten or use them.

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It’s easy – no nuclear power was involved. When the text of the treaty was in 2017, the North Atlantic Council published its statement on the same day: “Attempting to ban nuclear weapons with a treaty that does not bind one country already in possession of nuclear weapons will be ineffective, and will not reduce nuclear arsenals, nor will it reduce the security of a single nation, nor international peace and stability. “All NATO members supported this, and none of them signed the treaty. The Berlin alliance partners knew how sensitive this issue was – which is why they only aimed for COP observer status and also refer to “close consultation with our allies”.

“Very clear opinions on this”

However, the corridor creates a lot of internal problems. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that he had spoken to future chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) about this. “We have very clear views on this,” the US side says. It was also shown for Germany. Another diplomat says they sent a “very difficult message” to Berlin. Because observer status is by no means neutral, because observers will also have to contribute to the financing of the conference that will meet for the first time in January next.

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