Russia will not deploy new missiles as long as the United States shows similar restraint in Europe and Asia, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said on August 18, reacting upon Washington’s withdrawal from the pact.
Washington announced the decision to formally leave the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia earlier this month after accusing Moscow of violating the Soviet-era treaty and deploying one banned type of missile, allegations the Kremlin has firmly denied.
Subsequently Russia has also left the INF, but Shoigu explained it had no plans to deploy new missiles.
“We still stick to that. Unless there are such systems in Europe (deployed by Washington), we won’t do anything there,” he told the Rossiya-24 TV channel, according to Interfax news agency.
The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.
The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 29 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Friday July 5 to discuss Ukraine, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and transparency and risk reduction. This was the second meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this year. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “Our discussion was frank but necessary. Allies and Russia hold fundamentally different views but we are committed to continuing our dialogue.”
“Outcome of the Russia–NATO Council meeting: It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up” Russian mission to NATO wrote in Twitter micro blog after the meeting. The detailed comments have been published on the Facebook page of the mission:
“The NRC meeting on July 5 focused on the security situation in Europe in the context of US announced withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2. The Russian Side indicated that attempts to shift the blame on Russia for the demise of the INF were unjustified. It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up. We drew the attention to real risks of further aggravating military and political situation in Europe. The Russian Side noted the need to exercise restraint. We confirmed that in our planning of the steps to ensure the interests of Russia’s military security in the context of the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty we are not intended to deploy corresponding missile systems in Europe and other regions unless the US intermediate- and shorter-range missiles are deployed there. We called on NATO countries to make the same statement”.
Russia’s Baltic Fleet is monitoring the joint exercises of NATO Baltops-2019, Russia’s National Defense Control Center (NDCC) informed press on June 15.
“In order to identify the threats to navigational safety of civilian vessels, related to the use of radio-electronic warfare means by NATO ships, the corresponding units of the Baltic Fleet are monitoring the radio-electronic situation in the area of the drills,” the message by the NDCC informed.
According to the center, participants of the NATO drills in the southern part of the Baltic Sea are practicing radio-suppression of location and navigation systems.
Russia‘s airborne early warning and control A-50 aircraft, S-400 missile systems, as well as the Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems are taking part in the Black Sea drills held amid NATO‘s Sea Shield 2019 drills, the Russian Defense Ministry’s informs statement published on its official website
“To ensure the fulfillment of training and combat missions of aviation and the forces of the fleet of the Southern Military District, airborne early warning and control A-50 jets have been in the Black Sea area. They were on a mission over the Black Sea waters for more than 5 hours and targeted Su-27SM and Su-30 jets to supersonic and stratospheric targets more than 20 times,” the Defense Ministry pointed out.
According to the ministry’s data, the Black Sea drills feature more than 50 planes and helicopters, as well as the S-400 Triumf missile system the Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems battalions.
The face of war is changing dramatically as cyber and electronic attacks become increasingly commonplace, and so must our allies’ understanding of defense.
Of NATO 28’s member states, only five meet the goal – German defense spending is just 1,2% of GDP. President Trump has a point: NATO’s economics are clearly not working out, and this is undermining the alliance. But the crucial adjustment that is needed is not the amount of spending, but what it seeks to fund.
“Today, the Institutions in Kosovo have announced the adoption of the three laws initiating the process of transition of the Kosovo Security Force“- Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO said in an issued statement.
“I regret that this decision was made despite the concerns expressed by NATO. While the transition of the Kosovo Security Force is in principle a matter for Kosovo to decide, we have made clear that this move is ill-timed.
“NATO supports the development of the Kosovo Security Force under its current mandate. With the change of mandate, the North Atlantic Council will now have to re-examine the level of NATO’s engagement with the Kosovo Security Force.
“NATO remains committed through KFOR to a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and to stability in the wider Western Balkans.
“All sides must ensure that today’s decision will not further increase tensions in the region. All responsible political actors in the region need to focus on progress with reforms, and on dialogue. I reiterate my call on both Pristina and Belgrade to remain calm and refrain from any statements or actions which may lead to escalation. NATO continues to support the EU-sponsored dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as the only lasting political solution for the region.” – the statement concludes.