NATO predicts Russia will increase pressure on Georgia, Moldova

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen; Photo from, 19 May 2014 - 17:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

A NATO high official believes Russia will to try to destabilize Georgia and Moldova before the two countries sign Association Agreements (AA) with the European Union (EU) next month.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he had "no doubt” Russia would put more pressure on Georgia and Moldova in a bit to deter the countries from moving closer to Europe.

"We have seen it in the past and we will see it in the future. Because that is the overall goal of Russia - to prevent these countries from seeking closer relations with the European Union and NATO.”

"I have no doubt Russia will increase pressure on Moldova, maybe also Georgia, in the run-up to the finalization of this Association Agreement,” Rasmussen said in an interview with Romanian news site

He said he did not know exactly what instruments Russia would use fort his,

"Taking the previous experiences into consideration, it should be gas price, or gas delivery, or trade limits,” Rasmussen argued. 

He also said there was "no doubt” the illegal military action in Ukraine would go beyond Ukraine. He claimed this was about a long-term Russian goal to reestablish Russian influence in the former Soviet space.

"And that includes many things,” the Secretary General said.

"The Russian’s are interested in prolonging the conflict in their near neighborhood, like in Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and now the illegal occupation of Crimea. And the Russians choose this protracted conflict to prevent these countries from seeking Euro-led integration into the EU and NATO.”