Is NATO Preparing for 'Military Aggression Against Russia'?
NATO members may be carrying out full-fledged preparations for aggression near Russia’s border, according to Konstantin Sivkov, director of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems.
"NATO is conducting large-scale full-fledged preparations for military aggression," the expert said.
He underscored that recently NATO members have been deploying significant military forces to Russia’s western border.
Moreover, the expert pointed out that earlier NATO recruited Russian speakers for drills in Germany. In March, the description of the vacancy "Russian-speaking role players for NATO exercises" was published on the official portal of the German capital of Berlin.
"It is, in fact, evident that [the exercise] practices possible hostilities against Russia as a potential enemy," Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee, told Sputnik in late March.
Finally, Sivkov said that another trend indicating NATO’s preparations for possible aggression against Russia is the planned increase in the material and technical capabilities of the US 7th Fleet in the Pacific Ocean.
NATO justified its eastward expansion as a response to Russia's alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly refuted these allegations.
On December 22, 2016, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that the NATO presence near Russia's borders has grown threefold in the past 10 years and eightfold along the country's western borders.
Meanwhile, currently NATO is conducting the Tobruq Legacy 2017 drills in Lithuania, involving nearly 500 personnel and 30 air defense systems from several alliance member states. In particular, the US sent its Patriot missile defense systems to Lithuania, in the first deployment of the system to the Baltic region.