Russia “will have no choice” but to respond in an “appropriate” way to the deployment of heavy weapons, tanks and artillery by the US and NATO countries on the territory of Eastern Europe and the Baltics. The warning comes from the general inspector of the Russian Defense Ministry, Gen. Yuri Yakubov. He also said that any deployment of US heavy weapons in these areas will be considered as “the most aggressive step taken by the Pentagon since the Cold War”. For this reason Moscow will be forced to increase its forces on the western border, deploying air and ground units. Moreover, the shipping of new Iskander missiles will be accelerated in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, between Poland and Lithuania, and troops will be deployed in Belarus.
This is the Kremlin’s response to the news that the Pentagon is considering the possibility of sending permanently heavy weapons to the Baltic countries and eastern European members of NATO, such as Poland, Lithuania and Romania. The initiative would have the objective to deject possible Russian aggressions to Europe. According to US officials, the plan provides to deploy tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons, as well as five thousand soldiers.
Poland and Lithuania have confirmed that negotiations are underway with Washington to deploy permanently US heavy weapons within their borders. The Polish defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, said he expects a decision by the United States over the next weeks.
The proposal has yet to be validated by the Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter and the White House. If it were approved, it would be the first time since the end of the Cold War that Washington deployed military forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, which joined NATO in 2004, and that were under the Soviet influence in the past.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo