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7 Mar, 2024 16:01

NATO ‘increasingly aggressive’ – Moscow

The US-led bloc is openly rehearsing for a conflict with Moscow, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev has warned
NATO ‘increasingly aggressive’ – Moscow

NATO’s ongoing ‘Steadfast Defender 2024’ war games are heightening tensions globally by simulating a military confrontation with Moscow, the secretary of the Russian Security Council has said. Nikolay Patrushev also cited the alliance’s growing military spending as an indication of its “increasingly aggressive nature.”

The exercises, hailed as the largest NATO has held in decades, kicked off in late January and will end in May. According to Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Christopher Cavoli, the drills feature some 90,000 troops from all 32 member states. In addition, 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as over 50 naval vessels and 80 helicopters, drones and fighter jets are taking part, it is believed.

Speaking on Thursday, Patrushev stated that the ‘Steadfast Defender 2024’ war games, “during which a scenario of an armed confrontation with Russia is being rehearsed, are undoubtedly increasing tensions and destabilizing the situation in the world.”

He claimed that the “destructive role of the US in modern history is obvious,” and noted that no other country has “unleashed so many wars and military conflicts.”

Patrushev characterized NATO as an “important tool” employed by Washington to exert pressure and influence on other nations. The official pointed out that the Brussels-based military bloc has come directly to Russia’s Western border, and is preparing for future conflicts.

He also cautioned that NATO is planning to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in the Arctic.

Late last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also cited the military drills as a threat and NATO as an “instrument of confrontation” used by the US.

Speaking in the run-up to the drills in January, General Cavoli said that the exercises would simulate an “emerging conflict scenario against a near-peer adversary,” covering thousands of kilometers all across Europe.

Earlier this year, multiple senior officials from NATO member states, including the UK, Germany, and Estonia, alleged that Russia was planning an attack on the bloc within the next few years.

Moscow has consistently denied those claims, with President Vladimir Putin insisting that Russia “has no interest … geopolitically, economically or militarily ... in waging war against NATO.”