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But beyond the immediate outcome of the civil war there, Nato military chiefs are now viewing it as a wider strategic play by Vladimir Putin’s Russia to challenge the west closer to home. According to a senior Nato civilian official, the Mediterranean “is a contested space again”.
“We have to be prepared for Russia to be [in Syria] as a factor for a long time,” Alexander Vershbow, Nato’s deputy secretary-general, told the Financial Times on Monday, speaking on the edge of Nato’s biggest war-game since 2002: Trident Juncture, which for the next two weeks will take place across the western Mediterranean.......................
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