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US plans of deploying heavy weapons close to Russian borders will push Moscow for response

June 15, 2015, 16:38 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
US tanks in Latvia (archive)

US tanks in Latvia (archive)

© EPA/VALDA KALNINA

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. The US plans of prepositioning additional heavy weapons in Eastern European countries will threaten regional security and will push Moscow for a response, experts told TASS.

On Saturday, The New York Times referring to the US authorities and NATO allies reported the Pentagon "is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries."

In early June, Vladimir Putin in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera in connection with the "threat of Russian aggression" said: "Only an unhealthy person, and in deep dreams, could imagine Russia may attack NATO." The president said "some may prefer becoming frontline states, thus hoping for additional support: either in the military or economic, financial aspects."

A Russian academic, former Secretary of the national Security Council Andrey Kokoshin said the US plans of building up its military presence in Europe mean another effort the US have been applying in relation to the "Ukrainian crisis." "Those actions are first of all of political-demonstrative origin, though they may as well cause certain military consequences," he told TASS.

"Concerning the political and military situations in Europe, it is necessary to mind the improvement of the Russian Armed Forces, their better equipment, better combat training. Russia should be watching closely what the US is doing in Europe in the political and military directions, as at a certain moment those activities may destabilise the situation there," he said.

Deputy head of the Institute for the US and Canadian Studies Major-General Pavel Zolotarev says putting of 1,200 units of the US heavy equipment is of no threat for Russia, especially since they will be spread over different countries. "However, the very tendency is worrisome. We can hear the Pentagon wants to deploy in Europe ground based missiles. The UK foreign minister announces the US may deploy nuclear missiles in his country. It is a clear aggravation of the situation," he said.

"The current spiral of the military tension reminds of the early ‘cold war’ in the middle of last century, where the former allies in World War II - Russia and the US - turned for confrontation. At that time, the Americans feared without the arms race they could face again the depression of 1929-39. Thus, ideological confrontation had an economic base, the base of state support for the military complex," the expert said.

"Nowadays, there seems to be no disputes between Russia and the US, but priorities seem to be changing in spheres of influence, in forming of polycentric world order. Stronger Russia has outlined its interests in various parts of the world. In response to that, Washington adds pressure on Moscow not only in the information, but, which is more dangerous, in the military sphere," he continued.

"Russia will have to react to placing next to its borders of the US additional heavy weapons, it will have to supply modern equipment to its armed forces, to have more military drills. As a result, the confrontation is bound to grow," he said.

"The first stage of the ‘cold war’ was over as the parties signed several agreements on disarmament and on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the current stage of resumed "cold war" the US, Europe and Russia need to have new rules to prevent the situation from growing into an armed conflict," the major general said.

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