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Russian envoy to NATO: You crossed ‘red line’ with military build-up

NATO has tripled its military attendance at Russia’s western borders over the past five years, forcing Moscow to take retaliatory steps

NATO is bringing a “military dimension” to tensions between Russia and some of its Western neighbors by following through with a military build up which includes NATO military bases, and even missile defense systems. Russia’s delegate to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, stresses that the security situation has gone from tight concerns to armed apprehension, calling these maneuvers “unjustified” at a panel at the Valdai Club:

NATO has crossed a line with its “unjustified” military build-up on Russia’s doorstep, Russian envoy to NATO Aleksandr Grushko has warned. He added that global security cannot be ensured without Russia.

Relations with states neighboring Russia never developed “military dimensions” despite strained relations with some of them, including with the Baltic states, Grushko said. But the situation has now changed, thanks to the military bloc, he told a discussion panel at the Valdai Club on Tuesday.

“Now, thanks to NATO, we have a military dimension, it was their choice, they crossed the red line,” Grushko said.

While the West has been trying hard to isolate Russia and fuel anti-Russian hysteria, international security is the only thing that suffers from this approach, according to Grushko. Any NATO and EU attempts to create “isolated safe havens” are doomed to failure, the diplomat said, as the creation of solid security systems cannot succeed without Russia.

“If they do not want dialogue, then there won’t be any. It takes two to tango, as you know, it will be a conscious choice of the alliance,” Grushko said.

 

Grushko isn’t alone in this observation, as First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov has also warned that such a build up actually serves to worsen the security status of NATO countries which are host to military assets and forces facing Russia, stating  “[I am] sure that the negative consequences of NATO’s military preparations should spark serious concern among all [sides], as they worsen the security situation with regard to those states whose territories are being used to deploy NATO forces and assets.”

As some of Russia’s neighbors are keen to welcome NATO hardware, staff, and bases which they also seen to be excited to host, they are putting themselves right in harm’s way by harbouring the very threats that Russia has listed as some of its top military concerns.

“These very steps have been undertaken by the alliance year after year in the framework of its policy of ‘restraining’ our country. In Europe, a bridgehead is currently being formed to deploy, should the need arise, an offensive grouping,” Titov said.

Russia holds a certain amount of foreboded about “the expansion of the alliance’s naval and air-activities, new military infrastructure” as well as “the scale and intensity of the exercises” that NATO is implementing around Russia, he said.

Additionally, the US, in order to combat “Russian aggression”  is investing over $200 million for the development of military installations in Eastern Europe.

Titov added that “According to further plans to develop the US / NATO missile defense system in Europe, in addition to the already functioning facility in Romania, a similar missile defense base is set to be put into operation in Redzikowo, Poland, in 2018.”

NATO has tripled its military attendance to Russia’s western border over the past five years, with combat ready troops growing from 10,000 to 40,000 in number, which has necessitated Moscow taking retaliatory steps. NATO is regularly holding more than 30 military exercises next to Russia per annum perceiving Russia as the enemy combatant.

Over the course of this build up, the US has taken the liberty to effectively liberate itself from the 1987 treaty to do away with intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. A European Deterrence Initiative was created to “reassure” European NATO members with military funding to the tune of over $4.5 billion, with funds ready to go to Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Romania, and Norway in order to modernize their military infrastructure to be capable of hosting the most advanced hardware.

These Eastern European countries, by hosting NATO’s military presence for deployment, are not making themselves more secure against potential “Russian aggression” that they are training and equipping their military and hosting foreign militaries for, but rather, they are making themselves targets, for if some perceived “Russian aggression” were something of a shooting war, the places where the bullets are coming from are going to be the highest on the priority list of targets that the Russians will aim for.

How is this bolstering their security, especially if that security is estimated on the potentiality of a conflict with Russia? To put it more bluntly, they’re acting like Daffy Duck announcing duck season.

 

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