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25 February 2021, 15:36

CSTO Joint Staff chief slams USA's efforts to destabilize Europe

MOSCOW, 25 February (BelTA) – The United States of America continues purposefully worsening stability and security in Europe, BelTA learned from CSTO Joint Staff Chief Anatoly Sidorov at a press conference on 25 February.

According to Anatoly Sidorov, the persistent buildup of military presence in Europe testifies to the USA's efforts to worsen strategic stability and security in Europe.

The USA-Poland expanded defense cooperation agreement, which came into force in November 2020, provides for building military infrastructure in Poland to house up to 20,000 American military personnel. “Partial redeployment of U.S. armed forces from Germany to Poland cannot be ruled out,” the officer pointed out. Apart from that, in line with the agreement signed by the defense ministries of the USA and Bulgaria in October 2020 up to 2,500 U.S. military personnel will be permanently deployed in Bulgaria. The number may be increased up to 5,000 people on a rota basis.

The step-by-step increase in offensive capabilities of the U.S. forces in Europe continues, Anatoly Sidorov stated. The formation of the 41st field artillery brigade of the United States European Command has been completed. As part of regular rotation of forces and assets the new army unit – the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team – that had come to Europe for Operation Atlantic Resolve has been reinforced with a multiple-launch rocket system unit. An American armored battalion is traditionally deployed in the Lithuanian army exercise area Pabrade in the direct vicinity of the Belarusian border. Anatoly Sidorov also mentioned the resumed operation of the staff of the 5th Corps of the U.S. ground forces (Fort Knox, Kentucky), which operations group started working in Poznan, Poland in November 2020.

“These steps reflect the current direction of the White House's foreign policy, which is geared towards ensuring global leadership by means of military force. It will ultimately contribute to higher tensions in the world,” Anatoly Sidorov stressed.

Meanwhile, NATO continues taking measures to reduce response times of NATO forces, improve the integrated air defense and missile defense system, reequip and introduce cutting-edge communications systems, bolster reconnaissance abilities, and maintain the readiness of the nuclear potential for deployment. Apart from that, NATO prioritizes the development of solutions to counter Russian hypersonic missiles and the consequent symmetric deployment of such weapon systems in Europe as well as the use of near-Earth space for military purposes.

Anatoly Sidorov went on saying that NATO's main areas of efforts are formed under the direct supervision of the United States government. As a result, preparations for deterring Russian aggression are stipulated by virtually all the doctrinal documents NATO issued in the last five years. For the sake of their practical implementation over 12,000 military personnel of the NATO armed forces have been deployed in Central and Eastern Europe on a rota basis as part of NATO's Operation Enhanced Forward Presence and the USA's Operation Atlantic Resolve as well as the mission to protect the air space of the Baltic states.

Measures are being taken to stockpile weapons, military hardware, and material resources in advance at forward storage bases in Poland, Baltic states, Bulgaria, and Romania. Advance coordination centers operate in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia for the sake of welcoming troops and ensuring their deployment. The transport infrastructure of European countries is getting upgraded, including airfields, naval bases, major ports, automobile roads, and railways. Measures to simplify border crossing for army units and military cargoes are being worked out.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization would also like to note a considerable increase in acitivities of NATO joint armed forces on eastern borders of the alliance. In particular, the frequency of flights of strategic bombers, recon aircraft, and basic patrol aircraft has increased in the air space of Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Baltic states, and Ukraine as well as over waters of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Work is in progress on the constant deployment of NATO basic patrol aircraft at Bulgarian and Romanian airfields.

It is worth noting that although NATO had to adjust the number and the scale of many army exercises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a considerable number of the combat training exercises still happened. The fact indicates NATO is intent on keeping the troops on the eastern flank of the alliance in a high readiness state.

“Thus, the implementation of projects to reinforce NATO's offensive potential and expand the USA's military presence in Europe in addition to the practical refining of plans to carry out offensive operations in the course of combat training exercises creates real prerequisites for continued high military and political tensions in Eastern Europe. Taking into account the general anti-Russian direction of the foreign policy of the majority of Western countries the strategic deterrence of Russia and its allies will still remain the key argument to justify the militarization of NATO member states and the organization as a whole,” CSTO Joint Staff Chief Anatoly Sidorov concluded.

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