Russia reacts to new US troop buildup in Europe
America’s decision to deploy approximately 3,000 soldiers to Romania, Poland, and Germany is proof that Moscow is right to be concerned about Russia’s security, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.
Speaking to CNN, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson was reacting to an earlier announcement by US Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby, who announced that President Joe Biden had approved a decision to send thousands of American troops to Europe in response to “Russia’s continuing build-up of forces on its western border with Ukraine and in Belarus.”
“The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank,” Kirby said. “President Biden has been clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe’s security and stability. Our commitment to NATO Article Five and collective defense remains ironclad.”
However, according to Dmitry Peskov, this announcement further gives traction to the idea that Russia is under threat from the US-led military bloc.
“US de facto is continuing to pump up tension in Europe,” he said. Peskov added that the deployments are “the best proof that we, as Russia, have an obvious reason to be worried.”
The Kremlin spokesperson’s comments come as Moscow remains in consultations with both the US and NATO over a potential agreement on European security guarantees. Last year, Russia publicly released two treaties it had proposed to the US and NATO. The draft documents included a long list of security guarantees aimed at boosting stability in Europe, such as restrictions on the placement of missiles near the Russian border and the withdrawal of alliance forces in eastern Europe to their 1997 positions. Moscow has also demanded that NATO put an end to eastwards expansion.
Last month, the US sent back a formal response to Russia’s demands, which is currently undergoing assessment by the Kremlin. While Washington has been open to agreements on arms control and boosting the transparency of troop movements, it has flatly rejected the suggestion to end the enlargement of the military bloc.