Russia is not letting Europe out of its sight as new reports suggest that the country is keeping a close watch on the military build-up in Europe. Furthermore, NATO is also warning Europe to beef up its military forces along the Russian border just in case tensions with Moscow reach their worst since the Cold War.
Russia and the United States may have become partners over the Syrian ceasefire agreement but it does not mean that Moscow will idly sit by the sides should Washington make a move on other territories. According to a NATO envoy, it is highly unlikely that Russia will be passive about the US military build-up in Europe.
“Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically,” TASS quoted Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko.
“We see that the United States continues to reinforce its military presence in Europe,” explained Grushko.
“However, the situation in the sphere of security forces NATO to look to the south as it is there where the real threat is being formed, so I expect that the measures for reinforcing the Alliance’s southern frontiers will be announced in Warsaw [at the NATO summit].”
The official emphasized that Moscow is not a passive observer.
“We consistently take all the military measures we consider necessary in order to counterbalance this reinforced presence that is not justified by anything,” the official added.
NATO, on other hand, is urging Europe to strengthen its forces. According to the organization’s current assessment of the continent’s force near the border, Europe does not have enough should conflict ensue. NATO is working on its biggest congregation of forces in Eastern Europe since the Cold War. The decision is in light of an increasingly aggressive Russia. The buildup will include a permanent presence of battalion-sized deployments of allied troops across the said region.
“We no longer want multi-national forces to be present only as a measure of assurance or for political visibility,” Express quoted Lithuania’s chief of defense Jonas Zukas.
“We want forces of deterrence, with a clear understanding that they would engage in case of a conventional attack. The air defense problem is real. It is obvious that in case of a military conflict neither four nor eight jets would be enough,” added Zukas.