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Friday, April 1, 2016

Russia vows ‘totally asymmetrical’ response to major US troop build-up in Europe

Russia’s envoy to NATO has vowed a “totally asymmetrical” response if the alliance stands by a plan to deploy new armored units to Eastern Europe. Citing Russian “aggression” as a pretext, the US has announced “continuous troop rotations” starting 2017.

“We are not passive observers, we consistently take all the military measures we consider necessary in order to counterbalance this reinforced presence that is not justified by anything,” Moscow’s permanent representative at the alliance, Aleksandr Grushko, said in an interview with TV channel Russia-24 on Wednesday. “Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically.”

Grushko did not elaborate on his statement, but said Russia’s actions would correspond to its “understanding of the extent of the military threat, would not be extremely expensive, but also highly effective.”

“As of today, assessing as a whole what that the US and NATO are doing, the point at issue is a substantial change for the worse in the security situation,” he said.

The comments from Russia’s NATO envoy came shortly after the Pentagon announced a plan to increase its troop presence in “the European theater”of up to three fully-manned Army brigades by the end of 2017, one armored, one airborne and one Stryker brigade.

“This Army implementation plan continues to demonstrate our strong and balanced approach to reassuring our NATO allies and partners in the wake of an aggressive Russia in Eastern Europe and elsewhere,” Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove of the US European Command said. “This means our allies and partners will see more capability – they will see a more frequent presence of an armored brigade with more modernized equipment in their countries.”

The first such rotational armored brigade combat team would arrive in Europe in February next year. Each of the brigades will be on nine-month rotations and bring their own equipment to use for exercises across Europe. NATO also wants to enhance Europe’s current equipment and replace it with “the most modern the Army has to offer.” At the same time, the older gear would become the core of the previously unveiled “Army pre-positioned stocks,” which NATO would keep in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Credit to RT

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