Rus­sia calls new NATO com­bat readi­ness plan a threat to Euro­pean se­cu­rity

Iran Daily - - International -

Rus­sia said a new NATO plan to en­hance its com­bat readi­ness in Europe would weaken se­cu­rity on the con­ti­nent, and is warn­ing that Moscow would take that into ac­count in its own mil­i­tary plan­ning.

Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Aleksandr Grushko crit­i­cized the ini­tia­tive known as the “Four Thir­ties” in com­ments on June 13. He said that Rus­sia would take all nec­es­sary mil­i­tary mea­sures to guar­an­tee its own se­cu­rity, rferl.org re­ported.

The ini­tia­tive “cre­ates a threat to Euro­pean se­cu­rity,” Grushko told jour­nal­ists.

The Four Thir­ties, the Us-pro­posed ini­tia­tive that was sup­ported by NATO de­fense min­is­ters on June 7, is meant to protect al­lies against what NATO says are in­creased threats from Rus­sia and to bol­ster com­bat-readi­ness by eas­ing the trans­port of troops across Europe in the event of a cri­sis.

The plan, whose full de­tails were not re­vealed, pro­vides for the de­ploy­ment of 30 troop bat­tal­ions, 30 squadrons of air­craft, and 30 war­ships within 30 days. The plan is set to be­come op­er­a­tional in 2020.

Thou­sands of NATO troops are al­ready sta­tioned on standby in the Baltic States and Poland as a de­ter­rent, and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stressed on June 7 that the goals of Four Thir­ties are in­creased co­or­di­na­tion and bet­ter mo­bil­ity.

“This is not about set­ting up or de­ploy­ing new forces. It is about boost­ing the readi­ness of ex­ist­ing forces across each and ev­ery ally,” Stoltenberg said.

“This is about es­tab­lish­ing a cul­ture of readi­ness, and we need that be­cause we have a more un­pre­dictable se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment. We have to be pre­pared for the un­fore­seen,” he said.

Grushko said that Rus­sia’s “views on the prepa­ra­tions made by the al­liance on the east­ern flank are well-known. We are act­ing based on the as­sump­tion that it sub­stan­tially worsens mil­i­tary se­cu­rity in Europe.”

Asked whether Rus­sia would fac­tor Four Thir­ties into its own mil­i­tary plan­ning, Grushko told jour­nal­ists, “With­out a doubt, we will take it into ac­count.”

“If the need arises, we will take all mil­i­tary-tech­ni­cal mea­sures that will guar­an­tee our se­cu­rity and de­fense ca­pa­bil­ity,” said Grushko, who is a former ambassador to NATO.

Separately, on June 13, Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov called on NATO to en­sure that no state or group would strengthen their se­cu­rity at the ex­pense of the se­cu­rity of oth­ers – the so-called “in­di­vis­i­ble se­cu­rity” con­cept.

“We will con­tinue to call on our NATO coun­ter­parts to re­spect all the agree­ments...which de­clare draw­ing new di­vid­ing lines to be un­ac­cept­able and em­pha­size the need to en­sure in­di­vis­i­ble se­cu­rity so that no one has to strengthen their se­cu­rity by dam­ag­ing the se­cu­rity of oth­ers,” Lavrov said in Moscow af­ter talks with Greek For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias.

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