The Russian Foreign Ministry has pointed to the possible deployment of NATO strike aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons near the Russian border.
U.S. Air Force exercises which began in Estonia after March 20 at the Baltic training ranges and above the Baltic Sea can be regarded as "a way to enhance the Air Force presence of the United States and some other NATO countries near the western borders of the Russian Federation," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said at a press briefing on Thursday.
"It is our biggest concern that the Estonian Defense Ministry sees these exercises as the beginning of operations of a U.S. Air Force training center at the Amari base which, actually, may be proof of the intentions of certain alliance member countries to permanently deploy strike aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons near the Russian border," Lukashevich said.
"The ongoing growth of the U.S. combat potential near the Russian border in the context of plans bolstering NATO military presence and infrastructure on the so-called eastern flank… is not just escalating regional tensions. It is also fraught with long-term negative consequences for security of the entire Euro-Atlantic space," he said.
Russia will not stay indifferent to Washington's possible decision to begin supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, has said
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