Russia Prepared to Act if NATO Increases Presence Near Borders
Russia said Moscow will respond if NATO continues to build up forces on Russia’s borders. Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said Russia considers considers NATO unit movements as a hostile act against Moscow.
"We cannot see such a build-up of the alliance's military power near the border with Russia as anything else but a demonstration of hostile intentions," he said. "It would be hard to see additional deployment of substantial NATO military forces in central-eastern Europe, even if on a rotational basis, as anything else but a direct violation of provisions of the 1997 Founding Act on relations between Russia and NATO.”
"We will be forced to undertake all necessary political and military measures to reliably safeguard our security,” he continued.
Due to Russia’s assault on Ukraine and annexing Crimea, nations around Russia are concerned about security. Sweden and Finland are a few countries interested in joining NATO, but Russia issued a stern warning during Finland’s National Defense Courses Association meeting.
"Military cooperation between Russia and NATO is progressing well and is beneficial to both parties. In contrast, cooperation between Finland and NATO threatens Russia's security. Finland should not be desirous of NATO membership, rather it should preferably have tighter military cooperation with Russia," said Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Nikolai Yegorovich Makarov.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said the US should open a major military base in Poland.
"Russia is testing the strength of the international system set up by the United States after World War II," he said. "She tested it in Georgia, which was an implied ally of the United States. She has now tested it in Ukraine. And I don't think we can discount the possibility that she will test it again. And therefore our security guarantees have be credible, which is to say physically enforceable."
In 1997, NATO agreed not to build permanent bases in Eastern Europe if Russia did not violate another country’s sovereignty. Sikorski claims Russia violated this agreement due to aggression towards Ukraine, which includes annexing Crimea in mid-March.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Romania, a NATO country, to reassure NATO allies America is ready to defend them and visited the high powered US Navy Cruiser Vella Gulf. His promise includes a bigger US presence in the Black Sea. Romania does not border Russia, but it does border the Black Sea and is not too far from Crimea.
Russian diplomats also made a few remarks about ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in other NATO countries. One diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council that Moscow is concerned about the treatment of Russian speakers in Estonia. The Russian ambassador to Latvia told a radio station Moscow is ready to provide citizenship to ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in the country. Estoni and Latvia do border Russia.
Former Georgian Prime Minister and representative to NATO Ambassador Grigol Mgaloblishvili told Breitbart News "that Russia intends to cripple much of Eastern Europe to maintain it in a state of constant chaos."
“The main objective of Russia is to regain its sphere of influence over the post-Soviet states,” he said. “After violating international law, after invading and occupying territories of European nations and violating the basics principles and consensuses of the post-Cold War order, Moscow has not paid any political price.”