Commander of U.S. Global Air Strike Command, Lieutenant General Stephen Wilson, launched tirade against Russian president Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Russia announced it will deploy advanced aerial weapons systems to the Arctic.
Putin’s immense power is troubling
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen so much power put in one person in Russia, and some of the things happening there are troubling and concerning for everybody,” Wilson was quoted as saying in London by The Independent.
He said Mr Putin has “annexed a country, changing international borders, raising rhetoric unlike we’ve heard since the cold war times, and so lots of people are trying to figure out what is the strategic intent of Russia.”
He said Mr Putin is risking lives as it continues to send military aircraft to fly unannounced over international airspace. Such military aircraft are flying so close to international commercial airlines he said.
“When we fly, we fly to a flight plan – we announce it, we ‘squawk’, our transponders are on, we are talking to air traffic control, we are following all international laws. That isn’t happening with Russia. You’ve got contested airspace with people flying all the time, you’re unannounced, you’re not on a flight plan, you’re not squawking. We would not do that. It puts people at risk,” Wilson said comparing aircraft flown by U.S. Air Forces and NATO.
Wilson said U.S and NATO hope that relations with Russia can be mended once again.
“We want to bring Russia back into what we knew from years past – a relationship which was stable, with good dialogue, and understanding and communication to avoid any potential miscalculation,” he said.
He however admitted that US and other allies are facing the hurdles of modernizing their armed forces.
“Defense spending for every country is certainly challenging. All of us are struggling with how we can both maintain the forces we have, in terms of their readiness, but also the modernization of our forces,” he said.
Russia to deploy advanced aerial weapons systems
Meanwhile, the deputy commander of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces, Kirill Makarov, announced Russia will deploy highly developed aerial weapons systems to the Arctic in the near future. He said this is a part of Russia’s effort to modernize its military power.
“This is all done to the Russian Federation to defend its interests around the perimeter of our state, but also the interests in the Arctic,” Makarov said as reported by Business Insider.
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