Closer to Russia: the Pentagon explained the transfer of troops in Europe
WASHINGTON, (BM) – Pentagon chief Mark Esper said that the US military is being transferred from Germany to Eastern Europe in order to contain Russia, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing news agency Gazeta. According to him, most of the US allies consider Washington’s decision to redeploy troops “a good step.”
“We are moving more troops further east, closer to the Russian borders, in order to contain them (Russia. – Gazeta.Ru),” the head of the US defense department said, RIA Novosti reports.
Earlier, the head of the White House, Donald Trump, said on Twitter that he sees no reason to protect Germany from the “Russian threat.” According to him, Germany annually pays Russia billions of dollars for energy.
“And we have to defend Germany from Russia? What is this anyway?” Trump was indignant, talking about the withdrawal of a third of the American military from German bases.
Relations between Germany and the United States have now cooled because of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, in which the Germans are interested, but which is contrary to the economic interests of Washington.
Trump also denounced Berlin for “insufficient efforts” to ensure NATO’s collective defense. According to the American leader, the Germans spend insufficient funds on the military needs of the alliance, less than 2% of GDP.
“Therefore, we are withdrawing part of our troops from Germany!” – he stressed.
The US Armed Forces will withdraw 11.9 thousand troops from Germany.
Of these, a little more than 6 thousand will go back to America, and 5.6 thousand will be relocated to Belgium and Italy. No more than 25 thousand American servicemen will remain at German bases.
Trump warned of a reduction in the number of the US military contingent on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany in mid-June – if the German authorities refuse to pay for the deployment of Americans and do not increase defense spending within the framework of the North Atlantic Alliance.
The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, commented on Trump’s decision in a conversation with TASS. He expressed doubts that the Germans should perceive the withdrawal of some American troops as “punishment”, as it is presented by Washington.
“Germany is not in danger. Politically, she is likely to benefit from this,” the Russian diplomat said. He also acknowledged that the consequences of the withdrawal of US troops could come – economically, the vicinity of US military bases could be affected.
For his part, Esper reported that the United States and Poland have completed negotiations on the additional deployment of 1,000 US troops in Eastern Europe to contain Russia.
“The agreement will strengthen the containment of Russia. It will also strengthen NATO, allay the concerns of our allies. Our enhanced presence on the eastern flank of NATO will give more flexibility both at the strategic level and in conducting individual operations, ” said in a written statement of the head of the Pentagon.
He added that at the moment there are 4,500 American troops in Poland. Moreover, at the same time the American side declared the need to continue the development and deployment of sea-based nuclear cruise missiles.
“The development and deployment of sea-based nuclear cruise missiles is necessary to contain Russia,” the Pentagon explained.
The United States removed the last sea-launched nuclear cruise missile from combat duty back in 2010.
In addition, Washington is arming Kiev. At the end of last month, members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unveiled a bill providing for annual payments for the activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the amount of $ 300 million, including for the purchase of lethal weapons.
The authors of the document are members of both parties – Republican and Democratic, according to Reuters.
Also, politicians want to transfer to Kiev about $ 4 million for military training of employees of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In addition, the bill specifies the provision by the Pentagon and the State Department of regular data on the military needs of Ukraine.
If Washington decides to sponsor Ukraine’s military activities, this is likely to negatively affect the conflict between the Ukrainian authorities and the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR – towards escalation, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.
“We have repeatedly said that in the presence of a conflict in the southeast of Ukraine, the supply of weapons, military equipment, especially lethal weapons, in no way contributes to its settlement, but is a factor that preserves this conflict and, moreover, creates conditions for its intensification” explained the employee of the diplomatic corps.
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