RUS­SIA US tanks and troops in Poland a threat, Rus­sia says

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Rus­sia says it views the ar­rival of more than 3,000 US sol­diers in Poland as a threat to its own se­cu­rity. The troops are part of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s re­sponse to re­as­sure Nato al­lies con­cerned about a more ag­gres­sive Rus­sia. It is the largest US mil­i­tary re­in­force­ment of Europe in decades. Pres­i­dent Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the move “threat­ens our in­ter­ests and our se­cu­rity”. “It’s a third coun­try that is build­ing up its mil­i­tary pres­ence on our bor­ders in Europe,” he said. “It isn’t even a Euro­pean coun­try.” More than 80 main bat­tle tanks and hun­dreds of ar­moured ve­hi­cles have al­ready ar­rived in Ger­many and are now be­ing moved into Eastern Europe by road and rail. The US Ar­moured Bri­gade will also carry out mil­i­tary ex­er­cises in the Baltics, all part of Pres­i­dent Obama’s re­sponse to Rus­sia’s in­ter­ven­tion in Ukraine and to re­as­sure ner­vous Nato al­lies. The plan is to ro­tate forces ev­ery nine months. Their ar­rival comes just days be­fore the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Don­ald Trump, who has sig­nalled he wants to im­prove re­la­tions with Moscow. The elec­tion of Mr Trump has raised ques­tions as to whether this height­ened US mil­i­tary pos­ture will con­tinue. Mr Trump’s nom­i­na­tion for de­fence sec­re­tary - Gen James Mat­tis - is likely to be asked about the new ad­min­is­tra­tion’s at­ti­tude to Rus­sia in his Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing later.

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