NATO Not Ready for Dialogue, Russian Defense Minister Says;
Germany Warns NATO Ready to Deter Moscow with Nukes
MOSCOW (October 23, 2021) — Security in Europe can only be collective, but NATO is not ready for equal dialogue, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said. NATO earlier agreed on a master plan to deter Moscow, including with nuclear weapons.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been one of the most active backers of NATO’s new master plan to counter Russia in case a military conflict breaks out between the sides. The strategy, which was agreed on Thursday, envisages the military alliance’s troops fighting Russian forces in the Baltic region and across the Black Sea, while also calling for non-conventional warfare, including nuclear weapons, cyber-attacks, and space military technology, to be employed.
“This is the way of deterrence,” Kramp-Karrenbauer told German radio Deutschlandfunk earlier this week, commenting on the idea of deploying nuclear weapons in the air above Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to protect them from what NATO calls the “Russian threat.”
“We must make it very clear to Russia that we are ready to use such measures as well, so that it would have an early deterrent effect… This is being adapted to the current behavior of Russia,” she insisted.
On Saturday, Shoigu told his German counterpart that “security in Europe can only be collective without infringement of Russia’s interest. But currently NATO is the party that’s not ready for equal dialogue on this issue.”
“Amid calls to deter Russia militarily, NATO is consistently building up its forces near our borders. The German foreign minister must know quite well how such actions have ended for Germany and Europe previously,” he added.
The Russian defense minister also recalled the chaotic withdrawal of the US and its NATO allies from Afghanistan in August as the country fell into the hands of Taliban. The Western deterrence plan in Afghanistan ended in “a catastrophe, with which the whole world now has to deal,” he said.
Former Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl told RT on Saturday that she “wouldn’t overrate”the statements made by Kramp-Karrenbauer. She is part of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government and is about to quit her minister’s post. Her future in parliament may be in doubt, as the evacuation of German troops from Afghanistan, which she oversaw, turned out a “failure,” Kneissl pointed out, arguing that Kramp-Karrenbauer “is not a strong political figure anymore.”
NATO Unveils Master Plan to Defeat Russia in Nuclear War
Moscow Says ‘Confrontational’ Playbook Shows It Was Right to Cut Ties
(October 22, 2021) — Top defense chiefs from NATO member states have given a green light to a new grand strategy on how to beat Russia in any potential all-out conflict, as Moscow says the move proves the US-led bloc isn’t open to improving relations.
On Thursday, ministers met in Brussels to sign off the scheme, named the “Concept for Deterrence and Defense in the Euro-Atlantic Area.”
According to NATO’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, it is part of efforts to “continue to strengthen our alliance with better and modernized plans.”
The bloc’s officials insist they don’t believe an attack is imminent, but that it is worthwhile being prepared in any case. As part of the plan, NATO troops would fight against Russia’s forces in both the Baltic Region and across the Black Sea.
The battle plans also focus on non-conventional warfare, including the use of nuclear weapons, cyber-attacks and even conflict in space. However, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov hit out at the adoption of the strategy on Friday, saying that it shows there is no prospect for turning around rock-bottom relations with the bloc.
“There is no need for dialogue under these conditions,” he argued, saying that the adoption “of such a concept by NATO confirms it once again.”According to him, “this alliance was not created for peace, it was conceived, designed and created for confrontation.”
“[NATO] was not created for peace, it was conceived
designed and created for confrontation.”
— Dmitry Peskov
Defending the measures, Stoltenberg told reporters earlier this week that the bloc welcomes US efforts “to really engage in meaningful, strategic talks with Russia” over the extension of the New START atomic weapons treaty, saying that “some important steps have been taken recently.”
However, he added, “the relationship between NATO and Russia is at its lowest, lowest point since the end of the Cold War, and the reason for that is the Russian behavior.”
“They have invaded the neighbors, they have annexed part of another country, they are investing heavily in new nuclear capabilities,” the bloc’s top official claimed.
“They’re meddling in our democratic processes, and we have seen Russia being responsible for aggressive actions against NATO Allies.” Moscow, however, has sounded the alarm in recent days over a number of standoffs with US battleships and warplanes near its borders.
Earlier this week, two fighter jets were scrambled to escort a pair of American US B-1B strategic bombers over the Black Sea, just days after Russian sailors intercepted the USS Chafee as it set course for the waters of Peter the Great Bay, which Russia maintains is its sovereign territory.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hit out at Stoltenberg’s comments on Thursday, saying that the NATO boss underestimates the scale of the problem in relations, and that ties between the two are actually even “in a state worse than at any point during the darkest days of the Cold War.”
Speaking to dignitaries in a speech at the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US of “opening the door”to Ukraine joining NATO with a recent trip by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Kiev.
However, even without the Eastern European nation joining the bloc, he said, “the military development of the territory is already underway and this really poses a threat to the Russian Federation.”
“Tomorrow, rockets could appear near Kharkov, what are we going to do about it? It’s not us placing our missiles there, it’s them shoving theirs under our nose,” Putin added.
Jets Scrambled as US Fighters Near Russia’s Airspace
Days after US Warship Was Intercepted Near Russia’s Border
(October 20, 2021 ) — The Russian Air Force has escorted two US bombers over the Black Sea, after radar operators identified the planes flying close to the border, just days after an American warship was tailed as it moved toward the country’s waters.
On Wednesday, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense said that a pair of the country’s Su-30 fighter planes took off and followed two US B-1B strategic bombers over southeastern Europe, after the foreign aircraft were detected in the region.
“Russian fighter crews identified the aerial targets as two US Air Force supersonic strategic B-1B bombers, accompanied by two KC-135 refueling planes, and escorted them over the waters of the Black Sea,” the ministry said in a statement. “After the foreign warplanes had been turned away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighters safely returned to their home air base.”
A video also published by the ministry shows one of the bombers tethered to a refueling plane in mid-flight. It is reported that the US bombers did not violate the border, and the Russian planes carried out the escort in compliance with international airspace regulations.
This is not the first time in recent weeks that the US has ordered its warplanes to fly close to the Russian border, prompting a response from Moscow’s forces. On Sunday, one of Russia’s MiG-31 jets was deployed to escort another US military B-1B bomber over the Sea of Japan.
On Friday, Russian sailors were scrambled to head off the American missile-armed destroyer USS Chafee as it appeared ready to cross the country’s maritime borders in waters closed off for military exercises. The incident echoed a similar row that took place last November, after the USS John McCain crossed into the waters of the Peter the Great Bay in what American commanders described as a “Freedom of Navigation Operation.” The McCain was warned by the Udaloy-class destroyer ‘Admiral Vinogradov’, with the crew threatening to ram it by force if it refused to turn around.
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