Russia says new US military strategy confrontational

Moscow calls new US military strategy towards Ukraine and its other eastern European neighbours as being ‘confrontational’, adding it would maintain to ameliorate relations with Washington

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Russia on Thursday claimed that the new United States military strategy and rhetoric regarding the Ukraine crisis and its neighbours’ security have been very ‘confrontational’, saying it will continue efforts to improve relations with Washington.

Moscow cautiously reacted to the Pentagon’s National Military Strategy which was newly updated according to recent trends in global security challenges, as it anticipated a standoff with Russia over its alleged roles in the Ukraine conflict and failed attitudes towards the sovereignty of the former-Soviet countries in eastern Europe.

The US National Military Strategy was released on Wednesday by Army General Martin E. Dempsey and indicated the upcoming military and nonmilitary threats with the US might confront in the near future.

The document stated that Russia failed to acknowledge its neighbours’ sovereignty with its increasing military presence towards its border nations in eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Scandinavia.

“It also has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors,” the strategy document has claimed.

“Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces.” the document added by classifying Russia among "revisionist-minded" states.

Kremlin immediately reacted the Pentagon’s allegations through the military strategy document when asked to the spokesman Dmitry Peskov, a close aide to the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The use of such language in this document points, shall we say, to what is probably a confrontational attitude devoid of any objectivity towards our country," Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"Of course this will hardly contribute to attempts to steer bilateral relations in the direction of normalization," he said and added Russia would desire to settle back the efforts to develop its dialogue and relations with the US.

The relations between NATO and Russia have been at odds since Moscow seized Crimea and allegedly supported the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

The West has long been striving to dissuade Russia from its military presence by counterbalancing with its NATO-led increased military presence towards the edge of Russian borders, where the constituent states of the former Soviet Union currently became members in the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

But the Kremlin believes that the NATO efforts to militarise the member countries neighbouring with Russia in eastern Europe and the Baltics, were attempts at changing the strategic power balance on its borders.

Peskov paid attention to the issue as the Pentagon put Russia on its list of military concerns and responded that Moscow would take all necessary measures regarding the regional security.

"Of course, all threats to Russia's national security are taken into account and counter-measures are worked out and adopted." Peskov told reporters.

In a phone call with Putin last week, the US President Barack Obama told his Russian counterpart that Moscow had to fulfill required measures of the ceasefire in Ukraine "including the removal of all Russian troops and equipment from Ukrainian territory" the White House said.

However, Russia denies such allegations and accusations made by both Kiev and the NATO bloc and says that its soldiers have only been patrolling the porous borders with the eastern Ukraine where the separatist war had caused the death of almost 6,450 people in one year.

During a Kremlin press release last month, Putin announced that Russia was still committing the Minsk truce with Ukraine which he perceives as balanced and fair and said if Russia did not agree with its contents, it would not have signed it.

Since Russia has annexed Crimea and deployed nuclear arsenal back to the Peninsula, the US and its NATO allies alarmed and raised concerns on the issue as the Pentagon accused Moscow of “playing with fire” through violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The aforementioned treaty had ended the nuclear warfare between the US and the former Soviet Union, as it was signed between the then US president Ronald Reagan and the Soviet supreme leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

However, the Kremlin essentially opposed to Washington’s drive to deploy the the NATO member states near its borders as it reiterated several times 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.

Russian leadership regards the US military drive as a breach to the 1997 Founding Act with NATO which bans the permanent deployment of significant forces and military equipments in the states formerly placed under the security umbrella of Warsaw Pact.

But the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated during the last week’s NATO defense ministerial meeting in Brussels that the alliance's military deployment would be rotational and temporarily, aiming to eliminate defence vulnerabilities of its member states in eastern Europe.

The regional governments in eastern Europe, particularly in the Baltics, have long been worrying over whether the Kremlin will target themselves next in the wake of the the Ukraine conflicts.



TRTWorld and agencies