Russia warns of danger of armed conflict with NATO
Russia’s deputy defense minister considers NATO’s actions “direct provocations.” They can escalate into a military confrontation.
Given the tensions between Russia and NATO, the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow has warned Western military-accredited Western attaches about the threat of armed conflict. Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told military diplomats on Monday (December 27th) that “the Alliance has recently switched to direct provocations that pose a high risk of spreading to armed conflict.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry has released a video showing Fomin informing foreign military diplomats about Russia’s criticism of NATO’s actions. According to the video, the event was attended by 105 military attaches and representatives from 14 NATO countries.
Fomin blamed NATO for a significant increase in its military activity. In 2020 alone, the number of NATO military flights along Russia’s borders increased from 436 to 710. Every year, NATO conducts more than 30 military exercises using military scenarios against Russia, Fomin said.
Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister recalled Russia’s demands to NATO to provide security guarantees and halt NATO’s eastward expansion. He again warned against Ukraine’s accession to NATO. President Vladimir Putin recently threatened to decide if NATO would continue to be active near Russia.
The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry expect a dialogue with NATO after Russia’s New Year holidays, which end on January 9. To this end, the Russia-NATO Council should convene.
Fomin said that Russia is always ready for dialogue on an equal footing. At the same time, he criticized NATO’s refusal for years to consider Moscow’s offer of dialogue and the Alliance’s choice of confrontation. Russia is dissatisfied with the fact that NATO has been moving military bases and weapons systems closer to Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. In particular, 13,000 NATO troops, 200 battle tanks and 30 planes and helicopters have been deployed on a long-term basis in Eastern Europe alone.
NATO sees this as a deterrent to Russia’s aggressive policies, including against Ukraine. In addition, NATO’s military alliance condemns Russia’s recent build-up of military capabilities near Ukraine’s border.