‘NATO is mastering potential military theater in Eastern Europe’ – Russian envoy

“Scares and speculations” surrounding Russian military drills are a smokescreen for NATO’s military buildup in Eastern Europe, where the alliance is effectively mastering a potential new battlefield, the Russian permanent representative to NATO says.

“We pointed out that while a lot of insinuations, completely unjustified from our point of view, are being spread around the Zapad-2017 drills, NATO’s funneling of arms and materiel into its eastern flank is going unnoticed,” Russia’s permanent representative to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, told reporters following a meeting of the Russia-NATO council on Thursday.

“Speaking about solely military activities, NATO will hold some 15 drills complementing each other in the period between July and November, which are held in the same operative field and aimed at providing a vast range of support measures,” Grushko added.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged information on upcoming military drills, including the joint Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad-2017 and NATO’s Trident exercises. The drills have already caused an hysteria in several countries neighboring Belarus, including Lithuania, as one of its spy agencies released a report alleging that the drills will be used as a cover-up for an invasion.

“The Russian Defense Ministry answered the NATO colleagues’ request and today our military gave a detailed briefing on these drills, providing information on their goals and objectives, test grounds where the troops will be deployed, and on the forces and materiel employed – the numbers of troops and hardware,” Grushko stated, adding that true de-escalation in Europe can be achieved only through resumed contacts between Russian and NATO militaries.

Booming NATO activities are a part of a broader strategy for “getting NATO’s military infrastructure closer to our borders,” Grushko said.

“It’s clear for us that such activities not only ensure a reinforced military presence of the allies in the immediate vicinity of Russia's borders but in fact represent an intensive mastering of the potential theater of military operations, accompanied by the development of the necessary infrastructure.”

“Growing NATO military presence in Eastern Europe undermines stability in the region. We state that it represents a strategy for getting NATO’s military infrastructure closer to our borders,” Grushko added.

“Russia won’t stay inactive and we will undertake necessary steps to boldly defend our interests.”

DONi News Agency

According to: RT News