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Russian defense minister: NATO drills in Eastern Europe, Arctic aimed against Russia

April 16, 2015, 10:35 UTC+3
The minister also noted that NATO’s non-nuclear member-countries participate in drills simulating the use of US nuclear weapons, which violates the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
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Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. NATO exercises in the Arctic and Eastern Europe are aimed against Russia, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the 4th Moscow international security conference on Thursday.

"NATO countries are seeking to seize the geopolitical space by building military potential in eastern Europe and approaching Russia's borders. The geographical concentration of their drills only at the alliance's eastern flank and in the Arctic region point to the anti-Russian orientation," Shoigu said.

The minister also noted that NATO’s non-nuclear member-countries participate in drills simulating the use of US nuclear weapons, which violates the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

"NATO’s non-nuclear countries participate in drills [simulating] the use of US tactical nuclear weapons deployed in a number of European countries," he said.

It is important to note such violations of the spirit and letter of the Non-Proliferation Treaty ahead of the 2015 NPT Review Conference scheduled to start on April 27, Shoigu noted.

The defense minister also reminded how "unhindered striving for military dominance" resulted in nuclear bombardments of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "It is an open question what consequences such passion in using nuclear weapons could have had for Europe if the American army received it earlier," the defense minister noted.

Commenting on implementation of the American missile defense architecture, Shoigu said it poses a threat to strategic stability.

"Our forecasts of the US global missile system development voiced at the 2012 Moscow conference are coming true. We confirm that the implementation of the American missile defense architecture carries a threat to strategic stability," Shoigu said.

Infographics US missile defense system and NATO European Missile Defense System US missile defense system and NATO European Missile Defense System

The US has announced plans to reject the deployment of the fourth stage of the missile defense system in Europe and to refocus towards protection against potential North Korea missile attacks. Infographics by TASS

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