The recent council meeting between NATO and Russia has resulted in no agreement with regard to any critical issue that involves peace and stability among Russian borders close to NATO states. To make matters worse, Russia has also given NATO an ultimatum with regard to defense preparations that can be readily viewed as a threat and therefore, will require “appropriate responses.”
A few years ago, NATO had set up the NATO-Russia Council or NRC to enable dialogue between Russia and NATO member countries. Meetings between these countries, however, were postponed following Russia’s illegal military participation in Ukraine. Recently, however, Russia has agreed to sit in a meeting with other NATO member countries.
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the meeting had been a “frank and serious discussion.” Among those discussed were the crisis in Ukraine, the recent incident involving U.S. jet fighter in the Baltic Sea, the situation in Afghanistan and military activities. It seems no agreement was reached regarding these critical matters, but the secretary general believes it was overall a good meeting and that communication channels will be kept open.
According to the Atlantic Council Organization though, it seems that same meeting took on a much graver tone. During the session, Russia’s Ambassador Alexander Grushko had reportedly delivered an ultimatum, saying that Moscow will be forced to use “appropriate responses” should NATO decided to “enhance it self-defense.” Moreover, Grushko has made it clear that NATO is viewed as threat by Moscow.
With the U.S. announcing its plans to send 4,000 to 5,000 troops along the Nordic (including Baltic) states by September 2017, Russian military has just revealed that they are set to receive samples of the anti-aircraft missile systems known as the Almaz Antey S-500.
According to a report from The National Interest, it is a new weapon capable of engaging targets at altitudes of about 125 miles. Moreover, it is capable of engaging an incoming ballistic missile, just like the U.S.’ THAAD.
Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin revealed that it had received a $528 million contract last December for the production and deliver of interceptors for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems that is already being utilized by the U.S. military.
These THAAD interceptors feature Lockheed Martin’s “hill-to-kill” technology that can destroy any missile threat, whether it is inside or outside the atmosphere. The U.S. Army had activated the fifth of seven programmed THAAD batteries at the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Viktor Gumyonny, the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ air defense troops, says that the S-500 samples are expected to be delivered to Russia soon.