Russia has warned the West against further provocations, while noting that increased military activity near its borders could potentially have dangerous consequences.
Questioned by the newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomine has said he advises against conducting dialogue with Russia from a position of strength, as German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer urged in the Bundestag last November. Fomine also accused the United States and its allies of using “aggressive rhetoric”.
“In 2020, the activity of the air and naval forces [de l’OTAN] has increased considerably, and situations which can lead to serious incidents emerging more and more often, ”said the Deputy Minister. “These actions were overtly provocative. The incidents were only avoided thanks to the high level of professionalism of Russian pilots and sailors, ”he added.
In particular, Russian Deputy Minister Fomine recalled that NATO had organized a naval exercise on the eve of Victory Day in World War II and that multiple flights of American planes “in the immediate vicinity of the Russian border Had been recorded. More than 15 flights of US strategic bombers В-52Н and В-1В were recorded in August and September alone, he said.
Alexander Fomine also cited two other recent incidents. British and American destroyers entered what Russia considers to be its territorial waters, near Cape Chersonesus. Last month, a US Naval Forces vessel violated Russian territorial waters in the Far East. The submarine hunter Admiral Vinogradov of the Russian Pacific Fleet sent a warning to the American destroyer, threatening to “use a ramming maneuver to drive the offender out of its territorial waters”, the United States for its part qualified the maritime territorial claims of Moscow of “excessive”.
According to the deputy minister, the increased activity of NATO’s aviation and naval forces near the Russian borders could lead to “serious incidents”.
“We have always believed that the most complex issues should be resolved around a negotiating table. We are ready for a constructive professional dialogue in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, and taking into account the interests of each one ”, concluded Fomine.