The increase in military activity and the frequent exercises of NATO forces in the Baltic states and the Black and Baltic Seas indicate a purposeful preparation of the alliance for a large-scale military conflict, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov.
Gerasimov underlined this in a speech covered by the Russian Ministry of Defense’s official outlet, Red Star.
“In the Baltic countries and Poland, in the waters of the Black and Baltic Seas, military activity is intensifying, the intensity of military exercises of the bloc is increasing. Their scenarios point to NATO’s targeted preparation for engaging its forces in a large-scale military conflict,” he said.
According to him, since 2016, the Alliance’s states have increased defense spending by $130 billion and plan to increase military spending by another $400 billion by 2024. This was announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in his remarks leading up to the NATO Summit on December 3rd – 4th.
In addition, Gerasimov recalled that NATO has decided to militarize space. At the same time, as noted in the General Staff, the West at the same time continues to represent Russia as a “threat to peace.”
“Any step of Russia in the field of ensuring its military security, any planned and transparent event to build an army and navy, each exercise is clearly presented as a “threat to peace” by Western propagandists and fake media” Gerasimov emphasized.
He also expressed concern that such a position would increase tension on the contact line between Russia and NATO, and called for renewed cooperation in order to avoid dangerous incidents in the military sphere.
The NATO summit added China to the list of “nemesis,” but mentioned that still Russia “aggressive actions” remained the biggest threat to the alliance.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in turn, said that the expansion of NATO and the development of the military infrastructure of the alliance at the Russian borders could potentially pose a threat to the country’s security.
In a speech, Gerasimov underlined what Russia had done in 2019.
The state tests of the lead submarine of project 955A Knyaz Vladimir are in their final stages and it is expected to enter the ranks of the Russian navy before the end of 2019.
The potential of the aviation strategic nuclear forces is supported by the modernization of the Tu-160 and Tu-95MS missile carriers.
Serial production of strategic missile carriers Tu-160M, which in the coming years will begin to enter service with long-range aviation, has been launched.
In general, the state of strategic nuclear forces provides deterrence. Moreover, their development is carried out in strict accordance with international obligations established by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
On December 5th, Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia’s readiness to extend the START-3 by the end of this year. However, a clear position on the part of the United States regarding its extension has not been announced. All this creates additional uncertainty in the field of nuclear arms control.
The aerospace defense complex was developed further, the basis of which is the aerospace forces. The next spacecraft of the Unified Space System has been launched, which significantly increased our capabilities for guaranteed detection of ballistic missile launches.
The Russian Air Force received 139 modern aircraft. The over-the-horizon radar that can detect missile and aircraft at up to 2,000 km from the Russian border entered combat duty on December 1st.
In order to strengthen confidence-building measures, the Russian Ministry of Defense is continuing to scale up cooperation with foreign partners. At the end of 2019, the total number of countries with which international military cooperation is carried out reached 100. Expanding cooperation within the CIS, CSTO and SCO remains a priority.
The Russian Ministry of Defense continues to pay attention to ensuring transparency in the activities of the Armed Forces. As a voluntary measure of openness, partners are provided with information about the largest exercises held in Russia. This also applies to the sudden inspections through which briefings are held, the OSCE is informed through communication channels and observers are invited.
Subsequently, the practice of providing the most relevant information on the main issues of the activity and development of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will continue. It should be noted, the chief of the General Staff said that the Russian Ministry of Defense does not intend to proactively apply unilateral restrictions on the participation of foreign representatives in ongoing international events.
Concluding his speech. Army General Valery Gerasimov emphasized that “next year, work will continue to create conditions for stabilizing the situation at the global and regional levels, as well as the progressive and balanced development of the Army and Navy to ensure the peaceful socio-economic development of our country. We are open to an equal dialogue with foreign partners on issues of ensuring military security.”
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