MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. Western media outlets are justifying NATO’s military spending hikes with their Russophobic publications that the Kaliningrad Region is bristling with the latest armaments that allegedly pose a threat to the alliance’s member states, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We drew attention to some publications in Western media outlets whose authors impose ‘serious’ fears on the audience about a security threat to NATO member states that allegedly emanates from the Russian Kaliningrad ‘heavily-armed with the latest weapons,’" the statement says.
"Western media outlets are trying in their typical manner to impose the image of ‘the Russian aggressor’ in society," the ministry noted.
"Some publications are citing Commander of the US Air Force in Europe General Jeff Harrigian as saying that the Pentagon has a plan to break ‘the Kaliningrad integrated air defense system'," in case of Russia’s alleged incursion into the Baltic states, the statement says.
"At the same time, they fail to mention that the effort to improve the military potential on the exclave’s territory is prompted solely by the considerations of defense and the need to maintain a balance of forces," the statement reads.
The attempts to exploit the myth about the threat allegedly emanating from Russia is aimed to justify growing military budgets of the NATO member states and the accelerated deployment of the US forces in Europe, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stressed.
"By taking destabilizing steps, Washington and other countries of the North Atlantic Alliance are concurrently using the offensive rhetoric to shift the blame for their irresponsible actions onto Moscow," the statement says.
Moscow has numerously voiced its apprehensions over the build-up of the NATO military infrastructure close to the Russian borders, in particular, due to the deployment of US Aegis Ashore systems that can be used for launching both air defense and intermediate-range cruise missiles, Russia’s Foreign Ministry pointed out.
"Despite the US destructive policy on the INF Treaty and Washington’s deliberate dismantling of this very important international agreement with the support of its allies, all Russia's actions in the sphere of developing, producing and deploying land-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles will be taken solely as a measure of response," the statement says.
"Russia will not deploy them in those regions and as long as similar US weapons do not appear there. This approach equally applies to the Kaliningrad Region," the Foreign Ministry of Russia stressed.
The "anti-Russian propaganda" is also counter-productive from the viewpoint of "ensuring European security and stability," the Russian diplomatic agency said.
"Such bogus stories are most likely aimed at manipulating the public opinion to push through the expansionist interests of the US military-industrial complex in Europe," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.