Kremlin Responds to NATO War Games ‘Threat’

February 15th, 2024 - by RT News


The US-led Military Bloc Was Originally
Designed for a Confrontation with Moscow

RT News

(January 17, 2024) — NATO’s Steadfast Defender 2024 war games that kicked off in Europe last week present a threat to Russia’s national security, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on Wednesday, noting that the US-led bloc is an “instrument of confrontation.”

The exercises, hailed to be the largest NATO has held in decades, are said to involve some 90,000 troops from all 31 member states as well as Sweden and will last for several months, ultimately ending in May, according to the bloc’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Christopher Cavoli.

It’s also noted that some 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as over 50 naval vessels and 80 helicopters, drones and fighter jets are set to take part in the exercises.

Commenting on the war games, Peskov pointed out that NATO has always been intended as a “instrument of confrontation” that is controlled by Washington.

“The alliance, in fact, was conceived, formed, configured and is currently managed by the United States precisely as an instrument of confrontation. This instrument continues to fulfill its role and, of course, it is a threat to us,” the Kremlin spokesperson said. He added that Moscow would continue to take corresponding measures in response, especially as NATO keeps expanding its military infrastructure towards Russia’s borders.

The launch of NATO’s military drills come as a number of officials from its member countries, including the UK, Germany, and Estonia, have been urging the bloc to prepare for a full-scale military confrontation with Russia in the near future, suggesting that Moscow had plans to attack Europe in the next few decades.

Russia has vehemently denied any such plans, calling the claims a “hoax.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Moscow “has no interest … geopolitically, economically or militarily … in waging war against NATO” and would instead prefer to develop a relationship with the US-led bloc.

20,000 UK Troops to NATO War Games:
Biggest Drills Since End of the Cold War
RT News

MOSCOW (January 15, 2024) — The UK is set to deploy around 20,000 service members — as well as modern warships and fighter jets — to take part in major NATO war games amid rising tensions with Russia, the Defence Ministry in London has announced.

In a statement on Monday, the ministry, citing excerpts from a speech to be delivered by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, said that some 16,000 army troops — along with tanks, artillery, and helicopters — will join other bloc members on the continent to participate in Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, scheduled to take place in the first half of this year.

The effort will be supported by eight warships and submarines, as well as 2,000 Royal Navy sailors. The UK will also deploy a number of aircraft, including F35B Lightning fighters and Poseidon P8 surveillance aircraft, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Shapps is expected to call the drill “one of NATO’s largest deployments since the end of the Cold War,” adding that the UK and its allies have found themselves “in a new era” and “must be prepared to deter our enemies,” according to the statement. The statement specifically referred to the threat from the Russian “menace.”

NATO began reinforcing its military footprint in Europe first after a Western-backed coup in Kiev triggered hostilities in Donbass, which is now part of Russia. However, the most drastic build-up occurred after Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in February 2022. In June of the same year, the US-led military bloc agreed to put 300,000 troops on high alert, up from 40,000, to deter Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said that Moscow has no plans to attack NATO, arguing that there was “no geopolitical, economic … or military interest” in waging war against the bloc. Still, Moscow has also repeatedly warned that the alliance’s military activities close to its border warrant additional security measures. Putin has also said that Ukraine’s desire to join NATO was one of the key reasons for the current conflict.

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