The Russian deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov has said that NATO is using the situation in Ukraine to push closer to Russia’s border. He says the Alliance’s activities have expanded considerably over the past years adding that in their push the Allied forces are ignoring diplomacy.
“We’ve noticed that NATO member states are using the situation in southeastern Ukraine as a pretext to discard all diplomatic conventions, tricks and slogans and push forward, closer to the Russian border.”
RT reports: According to the minister, what NATO is doing is completely out of proportion with what NATO commanders call the build-up of Russian forces on its side of the border in Ukraine. “NATO’s activities are many times greater than Russia’s.”
However, he added they aren’t a threat to Russia’s security.
All of this is being done to restrain Russia and punish it for refusing to play along with rules set by the West, according to the official.
“Instead of uniting forces to fight evil, the worst of which is terrorism, Western nations are drawing new divisive lines, trying to realize containment schemes against unwelcome states. Today, Russia has been chosen as the target.”
He added that NATO currently can’t be considered the pillar of world freedom and security it is cracked up to be.
All this doesn’t bode well for relations between the US and Russia, Antonov said.
“Throughout my military and diplomatic career, I haven’t seen another period when Russian-American relations have been so difficult.”
The activities Antonov refers to include massive wargames in Eastern Europe and naval exercises in the Black Sea. On Wednesday, warships from the US, Turkey, Italy, Canada and Romania started drills there.
There was also a NATO military parade on February 24, just 300 meters from the Russian border, in the Estonian town of Narva. Over 140 pieces of NATO military hardware took part in the parade and 10 times as many troops which included US soldiers.