Kremlin: NATO actions in Eastern Europe ‘disturbing’

Moscow regards NATO’s recent move to militarise former Soviet countries in Eastern Europe as ‘disturbing’ and hails Euro-Atlantic bloc’s attempts at changing strategic power balance on its borders

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

NATO’s recent decision to militarise Eastern Europe has been perceived as “disturbing” actions by Moscow as the Kremlin press office announced on Wednesday.

The Kremlin office said the alleged NATO actions towards Eastern Europe had disturbed Russia as Washington and its European allies have been attempting to change balance of power against Moscow in the region.

"NATO is approaching Russia's border and makes actions to change the strategic power balances, which disturb Russia," the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

Peskov stated that Russia has been seeking the ways for protecting its security and interests in the coterminous Eastern Europe where constituent states of the former Soviet Union now became members in the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

He reiterated President Vladimir Putin’s stance towards the issue and underlined that “Russia was not approaching the border of any country” in the region where Moscow has long been accused of its military presence and offensive particularly after the annexation of Crimea and ongoing separatist war in Ukraine.

The Kremlin also emphasised that Russia was eager to cooperate based on "constructive and mutual" benefit with the Western countries.

Moscow  vehemently reacted to Washington’s drive to deploy NATO member states on the edge of its border and said on Monday that the proposed US move would be the most dangerous act since the Cold War to which it could immediately retaliated by beefing up its own forces.

Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia was very concerned with the US-led NATO acts of getting prepared to deploy anti-missile defence systems near its borders and said they would add more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to their nuclear arsenal this year.

"We will be forced to aim our armed forces... at those territories from where the threat comes," Putin said.

"More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defence systems will be added to the makeup of the nuclear arsenal this year," Putin added.

However, the NATO also blamed Russia as fueling destabilisation in Eastern Europe through nuclear warfare as the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Moscow’s attitudes towards the region as being “sabre-rattling.”

“Putin’s statement was confirming the pattern and behaviour of Russia over a period of time - we have seen Russia is investing more in defence in general and in its nuclear capability in particular," Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday.

"This nuclear sabre-rattling of Russia is unjustified, it's destabilising and it's dangerous,” he added.  

The US was reportedly said at weekend to store heavy military equipment in a significant move to deter “Russian aggression” towards Eastern Europe where the regional government has long been worrying over whether the Kremlin will target themselves in the wake of Ukraine conflicts.

Poland and the Baltic states, where peoples and politicians have been frustrated by the Russian military presence in Ukraine, welcomed the US decision to take a military lead against Russia.

But the countries in Central and Southeastern Europe like Hungary and Bulgaria still seem ambivalent since they have historical and cultural links with Moscow and declared that they may not want to jeopardise such ties by stationing the US military equipment on their territories.

Both countries are the members of the NATO and maintain a balanced approach towards Russia wheres they also commit their membership in the NATO alliance.

Meanwhile the EU on Wednesday extended economic sanctions imposed upon Moscow last year following the Russian annexation of Crimea and its alleged roles in eastern Ukraine crisis six months more due January 2016.

Peskov said Russia's reaction would be based on the "principle of reciprocity" and Moscow would wait for an official EU announcement before making any move.

The EU foreign ministers next week will confirm the Brussels’ decision to prolong economic pressure in order to dissuade Moscow which was accused of not abiding by the Minsk ceasefire protocol regarding the Ukraine conflicts in the Donbass region.

But Putin stated on Tuesday that Russia was still committing the truce which he perceives as balanced and fair and said if Russia did not agree with its contents it would not have signed it.

Ukraine’s belligerent parties have recently increased their military offensive against each other despite the ceasefire agreed in February to end the separatist civil war which caused to death of almost 6,500 people in one year of the conflict.



TRTWorld and agencies