Category Archives: Defense

NATO tumultuous Summit

Arriving to NATO Summit in Brussels President Trump bitterly criticised European allies for not meeting the two percent spending for defence needs, they signed for as Alliance members. (The VIDEO of President Donald Trump address at breakfast with Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg below).

“I think it is unfair,” Trump said, making clear that unlike his predecessors, he is not only going to talk about it, but resolve the issue. “We can’t put up with it,” he added pointing that the US should not have to pay the biggest share of NATO defence expenditure while Germany – the biggest European economy –  contributes just over 1% of GDP. Germany’s plan to increase its defence expenditure to the NATO target of 2% of GDP by 2030. was not satisfactory Trump said, adding: “They could do it tomorrow.”

However the criticism of the allies did not stop with the budget issue, and President Trump went on, extensively criticizing Germany for trade with Russia, namely for construction of the North Stream 2 pipeline in Baltic sea.

Apparently the international project of direct delivery of cheap Russian gas to Germany via Baltic sea bed would substantially impact the US attempts to sell their expensive liquid gas (LNG) to Europe, the experts say. It will also strip Ukraine from Russian transit gas payments from exploiting  the pipeline system they have inherited, a from the USSR.

“I think it is very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia,” Trump regretted. “We are supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions dollars a year to Russia”.

“We are protecting Germany, we are protecting France, we are protecting all of these countries and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they are paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. I think that is very inappropriate.”

“It should never have been allowed to happen. Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”

“You tell me if that’s appropriate because I think it’s not. On top of that Germany is just paying just a little bit over one percent whereas the United States is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP. So I think that’s inappropriate also.”

The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg attempted to reason President Trump, making his point that “even during the Cold war, NATO allies were trading with Russia.”

However the attempt to call to reason did not impact the fiery rhetoric of President Trump targeting Germany, and defining it as a “captive of Russia“.

Previously the attempts to promote the US liquid gas sales to Europe were undertaken by President Obama, but were declined by the European Union for economic reasons.

Russian company Gazprom underlines that the construction of new pipeline, similar to the one in operation (North Stream) will establish a direct link between Gazprom and the European consumers. “It will also ensure a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe”, the latter is a significant factor for the European economies, which have already been ‘hostages’ to Ukraine-Russia trade arguments, left without gas supplies.

 

 

 

PESCO projects in military mobility

Luxembourg. Foreign affairs and defence ministers discussed security and defence cooperation in the EU. Namely the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO); the military mobility; the initiatives proposed in the framework of the future multiannual financial framework, in view of the European Defence Fund and the European peace facility; the fight against hybrid threats in light of the joint communication of 13 June.

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said the “important decisions” will advance the EU defence work in preparation for the European Council. The ministers adopted the rules for the governance of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects.  From now onwards they will  focus on the implementation of the 17 already existing projects.

The  preparation of the new set of projects to be adopted by November and the work they will start to prepare the conditions for third countries’ participation in PESCO projects.

The misnisters also took a decision on the first steps on the implementation of the Military Mobility Action Plan, for which the proposal on the table on the Multiannual Financial Framework is a € 6.5 billion for the next 7 years. We also decided to move forward with the strengthening of our work on the civilian work on security and defence and the Member States welcomed my proposals to counter hybrid threats. So I will bring this entire package to the European Council on Thursday in Brussels.

“Member States also welcomed the proposal I made on our financial instruments to support our defence and security work. There is a European Peace Facility idea on the table. We will now move on with the Member States to look at the details of this proposal” – Mogherini continued.

Mogherini claimed she had an excellent exchange with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who joined ministers. “We looked at the challenges that the transatlantic relations are facing today and they do not relate to our work on defence and security, which has been excellent. We have worked together to prepare our deliverables for the NATO Summit at the beginning of July” – the diplomat concluded.

“We decided to increase the level of cooperation even more and focus on the most positive state of relationship we can have. It has never been as good as now and I hope this spirit of good cooperation between the European Union and NATO will also help in solving some of the issues on other tables that could be challenging in the months to come” – Mogherini concluded.

 

NATO defence ministers to meet in Brussels

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Brussels for defence ministers meeting, seeking to re-affirm ties with European allies, finding himself in the difficult position of mending relationships amid trade argument initiated by President Donald Trump’s policies. Speaking with reporters on the way to Brussels, Gen.Mattis presumed that while talks with NATO partners would be tough, he did not expect Trump’s tariffs decision to have an impact on defense issues for now.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previewed this week’s meeting of NATO Defence Ministers – the first in the Alliance’s new headquarters – at a press conference on Wednesday (6 June 2018). Ministers are expected to take a series of decisions on the NATO Command Structure and military readiness, discuss plans for a NATO training mission in Iraq, and review progress in achieving more defence spending and better burden sharing. They will also discuss NATO-EU cooperation, and hold a meeting on the Resolute Support training mission in Afghanistan.

 

NATO-Russia Council resumed dialogue

“The NATO Russia Council had an open exchange on several topics, including the situation in and around Ukraine, issues related to military activities, transparency and risk reduction, as well as asymmetric techniques as aspects of doctrine and strategy. NATO and Russia both briefed on major upcoming exercises” – Oana Lungescu, NATO spokesperson tweeted a short compte-rendu.

“NATO’s approach to Russia is consistent. Practical cooperation was suspended in 2014 due to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. At the same time, channels for political dialogue are open and the NATO-Russia Council is an important forum. NATO and Russia also maintain open military-to-military lines of communication. NATO Allies welcomed the April meeting in Baku between the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Scaparrotti, and the Russian Chief of the General Staff, General Gerasimov. The dialogue between NATO and Russia contributes to more predictable relations and enhanced mutual security” Lungescu continued.

Russian Representation was also very laconic, and published the following comment on the Facebook page:

“…The members of the NRC presented their assessments of the factors affecting the situation in the field of military security in the Euro-Atlantic region, discussed the ways to reduce current tensions and prevent dangerous incidents.

In order to increase the predictability of military activities in accordance with established practice, the sides exchanged briefings on the upcoming significant exercises of the armed forces of NATO members states and Russia this year”.

At present, as the site of Russian Representation at NATO confirms, the Ambassador’s job is “vacant” (pictured in a grey box). The Mission is lead by high-ranked diplomat Yuri Andreevich Gorlach.

Russians at NATO

Previous NATO-Russia Council on the level of Ambassadors took place on 26th October 2017, with the situation in Afghanistan, as the central theme, the other issues discussed were military training exercises, and the conflict in Ukraine.

There were no press-conferences, or other exchanges with press foreseen to comment on the outcome of the meeting.

 

Crimea fortification with S-400

Crimea air defense forces will get advanced S-400  Triumf  long-range and Pantsyr-S short-and medium-range surface-to-air missile systems this year, Commander of Russia Southern Military District Alexander Dvornikov, TASS News agency reports.

“The work to strengthen the airspace security on the south-western flanks will continue this year. In particular, air defense formations in Crimea will be augmented with organic units of S-400 air defense missile systems and Pantsyr-S surface-to-air missile/gun complexes,” the commander said.

The S-400 Triumf is the Russian long-range air defense missile system intended to hit attack and reconnaissance planes, including stealth aircraft, and any other air targets amid intensive fire and electronic warfare counter-measures. The S-400 can engage up to 80 targets at a time at a distance of 400 km and an altitude of 30 km.

The S-400 missile systems were for the first time deployed to Crimea in 2017 when an air defense missile regiment of the Southern Military District armed with these complexes went on combat duty on the peninsula. In January 2018, two more S-400 battalions assumed combat duty in the area of Cape Fiolent in Sevastopol.

Image: Kerch bridge arch

 

Lavrov: Russia will rethink S-300 installation in Syria

“We will supply the S-300 to Syria?- The president said this. We do not have any moral obligations now” – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said while interviewed by RIA Novosti Agency. “We had moral obligations, we promised not to do this until about 10 years ago, in my opinion, at the request of our well-known partners. And we took into account their argument that this could lead to destabilization of the situation, although the facility is purely defensive, but nevertheless we have heeded the requests – now we have no such moral obligation.”

Russia rethinks its decision to deny Syria C-300

The full text of the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement on situation in Syria: Gen.Sergey Rudskoy (Сергей Рудской) #Руцкой #Rudskoy, the head of the Operational HQ: 

“On April 4, between 3:42 and 5:10 (Moscow time) on military and civilian installations of the Syrian Arab Republic, air and sea carriers of the United States and their allies suffered a missile attack.Russian air defense systems at the bases of Khmeimim and Tartus timely detected and controlled all launches of missiles from both sea and air carriers of the United States and Great Britain. The announced participation of French aviation has not been registered.

“The aircraft of the US Air Force B-1B, F-15, F-16, as well as the British Tornado Air Force over the Mediterranean, the ships of the American naval forces Labun and Monterey from the water area of the Red Sea were involved.Strategic B-1B bombers went to the targets of strikes against the Syrian territory in the area of ET-TANF, illegally withheld by the United States.A number of Syrian military airfields, industrial and research facilities were subjected to a missile-bomb attack.
According to preliminary data, there are no casualties among the civilian population and military personnel of the Syrian army. The information will be updated and communicated to the public.

Syria Routskoi

According to available information, 103 cruise missiles were used in total, including the Tomahawk-based naval base, as well as controlled GBU-38 airbuses from B-1V aircraft, F-15, F-16 aircraft used air-to-surface missiles.The Tornado airplanes of the British Air Force produced eight “Scalp EG” missiles.
The Syrian air defense means, based on the Soviet-made air defense complexes, successfully repulsed the impacts of aviation and naval weapons.
A 71 cruise missile was intercepted. Syrian air defense weapons S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa were involved in repelling the missile attack. This shows the high efficiency of Syria’s weapons and the excellent training of Syrian military personnel prepared by our experts.
Over the past year and a half, Russia has fully restored Syrian air defense systems and continues to improve it. I would like to note that a few years ago, given the urgent request of some of our Western partners, we refused to supply S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria. Taking into account what happened, we consider it possible to return to consideration of this issue – and not only with regard to Syria, but also other states.

The targets were, among other things, the air bases of the Syrian Air Force. The data of objective control speak about the following:- On the airfield of Duvali, four missiles were involved in the attack – all shot down;- On the airfield of Dumeir – 12 missiles, all shot down;- By airfield Blay – 18 missiles, all shot down;- On the airfield Shayrat – 12 missiles, all shot down.The airfields were not damaged.Of the nine missiles fired at the unused Mezze airfield, five were shot down.Of the 16 missiles on the airfield Homs destroyed 13. Serious destruction is not observed.30 missiles were involved in a strike against objects in the vicinity of the settlements of Barz and Jaramani. Of these, seven missiles were shot down. These objects, allegedly related to the so-called “military chemical program” of Damascus, are partially destroyed. At the same time they are not used for a long time, people and equipment were not on them.

Russian air defense forces were transferred to the combat mode of operation. Fighter aircraft is on duty in the air.None of the cruise missiles in the zone of Russian air defense weapons was not included. Our anti-aircraft systems were not used.We believe that this strike is not an answer to an alleged chemical attack, but a reaction to the successes of the Syrian armed forces in the struggle to liberate their territory from international terrorism.

At the same time, the blow was struck precisely the day when a special mission of the OPCW to investigate the incident in the city of Duma, where chemical weapons were allegedly used, should begin to work in Damascus.I want to specially draw your attention to the fact that there are no chemical weapons production facilities in Syria, which was fixed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

This fact of American aggression testifies to the US lack of interest in the objectivity of the conducted investigation, the desire to disrupt the peace settlement process in Syria and to destabilize the situation in the Middle East region and has nothing in common with the stated goals for combating international terrorism.At present, the situation in Damascus and other Syrian settlements is assessed as calm.”

Damascus explosion

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