Who is provoking who? US Navy says Russia ‘threat to peace’ as Moscow switches on system designed to spot NAVAL INVASIONS
Relations between Russia and NATO are in choppy waters with two Western capitals accusing Moscow of threatening ‘global peace.' But will the bloc's plans to send more warships to the Black Sea help pull things back from the brink?
On Thursday, the US Navy’s new strategy document pointed the finger at “increasingly aggressive” Russia along with China as “the two most significant threats to this era of global peace and prosperity.” It gave a stark warning about Russia’s growing technological capabilities, including “nuclear and advanced missile systems” and “state-of-the-art air defenses.”Also on rt.com American missiles capable of striking Crimea fired into Black Sea as risk of confrontation on Russia’s borders continues to grow
If Russia’s investment in its defensive capability has America’s sailors rattled, its new monitoring system in the Black Sea will have them tossing and turning in their bunks. At the same time that Washington was releasing its verdict, Russia was switching on its new satellite net to catch warships straying into its waters in the Black Sea, off the coast of the disputed Crimean Peninsula. As well as space-based capabilities, the system, nicknamed ‘Strategy’, uses long-range radar to spot would-be invaders.
Earlier this week, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow sounded the alarm over NATO’s growing interest in cruising off Russia’s sunny southern coastline. “The Alliance is expanding its range of activities in the Black Sea area, drawing in countries from outside the region,” a spokeswoman said. “The number of NATO ships being called in to their Black Sea ports, flights of reconnaissance aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles along the Russian borders is increasing.”
“The appearance of a new player here, who clearly did not come with the best intentions, shakes regional stability and drives a wedge between neighboring countries,” Maria Zakharova concluded.Also on rt.com Skyrocketing tensions: Russian battleship ‘aimed missiles’ at British warplanes sent to ‘intercept’ it in neutral waters
At the start of December, NATO’s top official Jens Stoltenberg used a press conference to call on members of the bloc to strengthen their presence in the region, speaking of a need to step up naval patrols. This, he argued, was in response to Moscow frequently ordering “intimidatory military operations in the immediate vicinity of NATO.”
Unfortunately, more foreign troops on Russia’s borders appear to have done little to help ease tensions. In November, American-led exercises saw barrages of long-range rockets that could strike Crimea fired into the Black Sea from Romania. The spectacle led the deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament to raise fears of “preparations for an armed invasion of the territory of the Russian Federation.”
READ MORE: US & NATO preparing for ‘invasion’ of Crimea, warns local parliamentarian, as US-Russia tensions in Black Sea region soar
Also on Thursday, as if in a coordinated effort, the chief of the British defence staff, Nick Carter, told a security conference that Russian ships are poised to strike the UK’s territorial waters. “Our armed forces are responding to threats from other states. The most serious threat in the Euro-Atlantic region comes, of course, from Russia,” he said. The statement comes after a Russian warship was reported to have aimed its missiles when two British fighter jets staged a fly-by in international waters.
The Russian Embassy in London has repeatedly claimed that politicians and army chiefs whip up fears about the country in order to justify increased military spending and the commitment of troops to joint NATO projects. It adds that “Russia constantly decreases its defense expenditure, while joint military expenses of NATO countries do not stop rising.”
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