Russia does not appreciate that NATO is ramping up its military activity near its borders. Hence, it has made plans to respond with equal force.
Recently, NATO reiterated its plans to deploy four multinational battalions to the Baltic region. The United States, United Kingdom, and Germany have expressed their willingness to provide 1,000 troops each for this plan.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also confirmed recently that Canada will be providing the remaining 1,000 troops needed. These battalions will be stationed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
“Despite our warnings about NATO’s eastward expansion being counterproductive and dangerous, the borders of this massive military bloc have reached Russian borders,” explained Anton Mazur, the head of the Russian Delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Miliary Security and Arms Control, during a security forum in Vienna.
Mazur noted that NATO has been deploying missile systems to the area as well as helping develop the military infrastructure of its new members. Mazur also pointed out that the U.S. and NATO have been busy holding a number of large scale exercises in the region.
“The alliance is planning for confrontational scenarios in the Baltic and Black Sea basins as well,” he explained.
In response to NATO activities in the Baltic, Reuters reported that Russia has started mobilizing forces to move towards the region as “additional reinforcement.” The forces will be stationed in a Russian base in Kaliningrad, a city that has already been stockpiled for possible war. It is also close to the Baltic Sea and is already home to a number of land troops as well as a naval brigade.
Recently, Russia announced its plans to hold joint military exercises with Belarus, an ally country in Eastern Europe that could allow them to have greater presence outside their borders in the Baltics. Morning News USA previously reported that Russia may decide to utilize the Suwalki Gap to start an invasion in the region.
The Suwalki Gap is the only link Poland has with the rest of its allied Baltic states. Belarus is near this area and has been in talks to possibly host a large Russian air base.
Nonetheless, these military developments does not mean that diplomacy is no longer utilized by Russia. Recently, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said that they are looking at convening the Russia-NATO council after the upcoming NATO Warsaw summit.