Russia has noticed the statements by Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army in Europe, on the placement of U.S. armored vehicles on the NATO 'eastern flank' that he made in Washington on March 17.
"In this regard, we would like to recall the obligations assumed by NATO under the NATO-Russia Founding Act on the non-placement of significant combat forces on a permanent basis on the territory of 'new members', that is, the Eastern European countries that Ben Hodges is talking about," the Russian Foreign Ministry's information and press department said in a commentary on the general's statements.
"According to our estimations, the deployment of U.S. armored vehicles on a permanent basis on the 'eastern flank' of NATO in the quantities he mentioned will give good reasons to question the observance of its obligations by NATO," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its commentary.
"If sabotaging the key provisions of the Founding Act is also 'a normal thing' for the U.S., it means that Washington is openly neglects the interests of European security and is looking to destabilize the military and political situation," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its commentary.
"We are hoping that Europe sees the danger of unconditionally following U.S. generals' advice and will choose approaches that will rule out a possibility of military confrontation between Russia and NATO," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its commentary.
Hodges said the U.S. group of troops in the Eastern European countries will be increased in the nearest future under Operation Atlantic Resolve. Specifically, the number of U.S. armored vehicles (Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles) will be increased from sixty to 220.
As to the options of their deployment, the general preferred the possibility to keep this hardware in the Eastern European countries, calling it 'a new normal of permanent character', the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"Deployment of #UK military instructors in #Ukraine unlikely to contribute to peaceful settlement of the conflict," Yakovenko wrote on Twitter on Friday.
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