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US can act alone if needed: NATO envoy

US armed forces stationed in the NATO countries of Eastern Europe could strike in response to Russian aggression without waiting for the alliance’s Article 5 to kick in, announced US Permanent Representative to NATO Douglas Lute Friday, reported national information agency LETA through UKRINFORM.

“We, the US representation to NATO and the US government, clearly understand – in order to apply Article 5, we must wait for all 28 allies to approve. The meaning of Article 5 is – if one member is subject to attack and suffers as a result, there are certain obligations – individual and collective – that each member state must provide a response.

The US is obliged to react also on the principle of bilateralism, without necessarily deferring to what’s going on inside the North Atlantic Council,” the US Ambassador to NATO pointed out.

It’s especially important now that soldiers and military gear from the US armed forces are deployed in Eastern Europe’s allied territories, he added.

“The political decision has already been taken. Our forces on the eastern borders are there and will stay there as long as necessary, like President Obama said,” Lute said.

Article 5 is intended more as a deterrent factor rather than a resource for direct use of military force, the diplomat said.

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