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NATO envoy: Russia won't passively watch US military build-up in Europe

March 30, 20:00 UTC+3
"Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically," Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko says
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© EPA/MIGUEL A. LOPES, Archive

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russia will not passively watch the US military build-up in Europe and will give an asymmetrical response to it, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Wednesday.

"We see that the United States continues to reinforce its military presence in Europe," Grushko said. "However, the situation in the sphere of security forces NATO to look to the south as it is there the real threat is being formed, so I expect that the measures for reinforcing the Alliance’s southern frontiers will be announced in Warsaw [at the NATO summit]."

"We are not passive observers, we consistently take all the military measures we consider necessary in order to counterbalance this reinforced presence that is not justified by anything," the official said. "Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically."

According to Grushko, the NATO summit in Warsaw will apparently continue its course towards strengthening the military bloc’s "eastern flank" in Europe.

"There are grounds to assume that [NATO] will continue a course, which was generally outlined at the Wales summit. It provides for considerably strengthening NATO’s ‘eastern flank’ alongside with maintaining the channels of conducting a dialogue with Russia on questions of mutual interest," Grushko said.

Admission of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO will place Europe on the verge of a large-scale crisis, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO added.

"One can’t imagine the situation when those countries [Ukraine and Georgia] keep cherishing the hope to join NATO and the alliance really plans to admit them, as this would explode the situation and put Europe on the brink of a crisis, whose size and scale can’t be imagined today," Grushko said.

In his words, NATO’s forthcoming summit may make further steps to reform Ukraine’s army and law enforcemen.

"The [forthcoming] NATO summit may pass a decision to create new trust funds to support the reform of the army and law enforcement in Ukraine in addition to the six funds that already function. However, I do not expect any qualitative steps in this direction," the Russian diplomat added.

US may shortly specify parameters of military presence in Europe

Within the next few days, the United States may specify parameters of its military presence in Europe, Russia’s NATO ambassador told Rossiya 24 television on Wednesday.

"We see that the plan to increase readiness approved at the NATO summit in Wales is being consistently implemented, new and new measures aimed at ‘calming down’ US allies in Eastern Europe are announced," Alexander Grushko said.

"Within the next few days, this will possibly be done during a visit of [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg [to the US on April 4], it is expected that the US may specify parameters of increased military presence in Europe," he said.

"As of the present day, assessing as a whole what that the US and NATO are doing, the point at issue is a substantial change for the worse in the security situation," he said.

"There are grounds to assume that [NATO] will continue a course, which was generally outlined at the Wales summit. It provides for considerably strengthening NATO’s ‘eastern flank’ alongside with maintaining the channels of conducting a dialogue with Russia on questions of mutual interest," Grushko said.

No technological barriers to resuming Russia-NATO cooperation

In Grushko's words, NATO should give up its policy of confrontation if it wants the Russia-NATO cooperation to resume.

"There are no technological barriers to this cooperation. We hope that sooner or later all the ties, which we used to have and which used to be effective, will be re-established and our cooperation will continue," Grushko said.

"Cooperation will be possible only when NATO countries start realizing that the policy of confrontation contradicts their own national interests," he added.

No reconnaissance flights over Russia

Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko has described a US general’s remarks about the need to resume reconnaissance flights in Europe as a new propaganda trick.

"Reconnaissance aircraft will not fly over Russia. It seems to me that these [statements on resumption of flights by US reconnaissance planes - TASS] are nothing more than another propaganda trick," Grushko told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Wednesday commenting on the words of US General Philip Breedlove, Allied Commander Europe, about the need to renew reconnaissance flights.

 

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