Moscow – Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu announced that 20 units would be built on the western Russian border, which is near the borders of the European countries. The Russian Defence Minister held the United States and NATO responsible, saying, ‘The increased patrolling by the US bombers near the Russian border, NATO deployments and exercises in the eastern European countries are destroying the international security systems. Russia has to take this step to defend against these NATO activities.’
The tension between NATO and Russia has increased over the last few weeks. After the conflict with Ukraine in Donbas, a war-like situation had been created because of the deployments made by the United States, NATO and Turkey in the air and marine limits of Ukraine. Moreover, patrolling by the British and NATO warships and submarines had increased in the Norwegian maritime region. The Russian Defence Minister had criticised these NATO movements.
Twenty military units will be built in the western military district, meaning near the Russian border with Europe. Defence Minister Shoygu did not clarify the nature of these units. But this announcement by the Russian Defence Minister comes as a warning for the United States and European countries. Repercussions of this could be felt in the NATO meeting scheduled to be held soon. Meanwhile, in April, Russia had withdrawn its military after the Ukraine issue had been diffused. But it had left the weapons stock and defence equipment near the Ukraine border. Russia clarified that this was done because of the Zapad military exercises held in the region in September. But the United States and NATO have accused that these Russian activities as suspicious. The United States refused to join the Open Skies Treaty, blaming that the aggressive Russian stand regarding Ukraine can never be accepted.
Despite this, the United States announced that the meeting between the US and Russian Presidents would go ahead as per schedule. At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that his country was willing to hold talks with NATO. The Russian Foreign Minister expressed that NATO should be ready to answer a few questions. Foreign Minister Lavrov added that both parties should focus on the security-related issue, which is the basis for the formation of the Russia-NATO council.
The Russian Foreign Minister also demanded that the meeting should not become a platform for exchanging accusations. Meanwhile, only a few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron had appealed to NATO to adopt a stand to negotiate with Russia, pointing out that the sanctions imposed against Russia have had no effect.