NATO drags Russia into arms race
The Ukrainian-American military exercises Sea Breeze-2016 started today in Odessa. Carrying out a multinational security operation in crisis regions will be the theme of the maneuvers. The exercises will involve three thousand soldiers, including two thousand from the US, other NATO member states and countries of the Black Sea region, and one thousand soldiers from Ukraine. They will also involve 25 ships, motorboats and support vessels from Ukraine, the US, Turkey and Romania, as well as aviation and wheeled vehicles.
The head of the Eurasian Integration and SCO Development Department of the CIS Countries Institute, Vladimir Yevseyev, is convinced that NATO is trying to drag Russia into an arms race. "We must have quality advantage in certain types of weapons to counter NATO plans, and we have already achieved it. In addition to the famous 'Kalibr' missiles, we have also achieved success in the field of electronic warfare. The Russian multi-purpose SU-35 fighter is in no way inferior to the American F-35 fighter. We have a serious advantage in the field of air defense, but on the other hand, we back down in the field of missile defense."
According to Yevseyev, NATO is trying to intimidate Russia, so Moscow has to respond, including by creating three additional divisions.
The expert reminded that during the NATO summit in Warsaw, Romania proposed creating a NATO flotilla in the Black Sea. However, the proposal was not supported by Bulgaria and Turkey. "A NATO flotilla, intended to restrain the Russian Black Sea Fleet, will not be created. This can be regarded as a success of Russian diplomacy, which was able to convince Turkey to begin the process of resuming Russian-Turkish relations," Yevseyev believes.
According to him, the creation of military infrastructure is a long process: "We are entering a period of confrontation, if we talk about our relations with NATO. It might last around 10 years. Relations will never return to the period of Maidan-2014. But we can agree on certain fields of trust, so that Russian and NATO warplanes would fly with transponders, for example. We can agree on certain trust-building measures, so that there would be no concerns that Russian submarines will cross the territorial waters of some countries. We can agree on limiting exercises."
The expert believes that this process of gradual reduction of tensions will begin after the change of administration in the United States, which will happen next spring. And it does not matter who will come to power in the White House.
"Regardless of who comes to power, the problem is that the center of gravity has moved to the Asia-Pacific region. It still exists. Under these conditions, we must regard NATO's actions more calmly. There are no talks about accepting Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. Relations between Georgia and NATO are currently developing, but I see that the Georgian-American relations are strengthening even more," he said.