MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. NATO military exercises in the Baltic States, Poland, and in the Black and Baltic Seas indicate that the Alliance is preparing for a large-scale conflict, Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasinov told foreign military attaches on Tuesday.
"Military activities are increasing in the Baltic States and Poland, in the Black and Baltic Seas. The intensity of the bloc's military exercises is growing. Their scenarios point to NATO's deliberate preparation to using their forces in a large-scale military conflict," Gerasimov was quoted by the Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper as saying.
At the same time, the Alliance is promoting a thesis about "Russian military threat," interpreting Russia's actions on ensuring security or any other planned transparent activities in the sphere of military construction as "a threat to peace," Gerasimov noted. "In the doctrines of Brussels, Russia has the status of an adversary," he stressed.
Gerasimov also reminded about the decisions made at the last NATO summit in London. "With the aim of ensuring dominance in space, participants in the summit decided to recognize space as a separate sphere for warfare along with land, airspace, naval and cyber space," he said noting that the United States continue deploying missile defense systems in Europe.
Nevertheless, Gerasimov said that "in our opinion, there are currently no indications that a large-scale war may start." However, the situation in the world remains unstable, and the developments become more unpredictable, he added. The reason behind this lies in the striving of some countries to force their principles on other sovereign states, "including with the use of force," he noted.
"Unprecedented political, economic and informational pressure is being exerted on countries that try to carry out independent policies, including on Russia," Gerasimov said adding that this may potentially lead to crises that could escalate into a larger conflict.
Moreover, changes in the forms of warfare indicate that in the future all spheres will be used for conducting warfare, he continued. "As I already noted, the decisions at the NATO summit in London serve as confirmation of this, since they recognized space as an operational sphere. We should definitely be ready for any possible developments," Gerasimov stressed.
He concluded by noting that Russia's defense potential will be maintained at the level necessary for repelling an agression against Russia of any scale and from any sphere.