Fearful of 4,600 NATO Soldiers, Russia Promises Military Response
Russia appears terrified of the 4,600 NATO fighting men recently deployed to the Baltic States off its western border and has threatened to take unspecified measures to punish the alliance for this temerity.
"NATO is building a new military security situation that we cannot ignore, that we should address using our own military instruments," said Alexander Grushko, Russia's ambassador to NATO in Brussels.
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He refused to reveal what kind of measures Russia plans to take, saying only "NATO's movements will not be left without a response in terms of military planning."
And, in an insulting statement, Grushko said only Russia can ensure peace in Europe, which is tantamount to saying the only way to quell a ravenous bear is to let it eat everything in sight.
"If Europe is really interested in improving its own security, it is simply not possible to do it without Russia," said Grushko.
He also noted the U.S. increased defense spending in Europe by 40 percent in its 2018 budget.
Grushko also asked why NATO is boosting its defense spending when their combined defense budgets are already greater than Russia and China together. It's a statement that only means NATO shouldn't defend itself against Russia, which is making preparations to invade the Baltic States.
All the three Baltic States are members of NATO and under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which brought NATO into existence, the invasion of one member state is tantamount to an invasion of NATO as a whole.
Article 5 states:
"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."
Twelve NATO Member States have deployed a combined 4,600 troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (together called the Baltic States) and Poland. Four NATO battle groups will become combat-ready within two weeks.
NATO described its deployment to the Baltics and Poland as a deterrent move aimed at countering aggression by Russia, which seized Crimea (which is part of Ukraine) in 2014.
"NATO is a defensive alliance and we do not seek confrontation with Russia," said NATO spokesman Piers Cazalet.
"NATO had no plan to deploy forces in the region before Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea."