The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that “NATO could not hide the fact that their potential adversary in the announced “Defender Europe-2020″ exercises is Russia.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry statement drew attention to what US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on March 5, when he stated that “Defender Europe-2020’s goal is to send a signal to Russia to force its bad behavior to change.”
“The Head of the Pentagon has not explained this and will not be able to do so, because Russia is not threatening anyone,” Lavrov said
“NATO is the one that brings together the strike force on the Russian border,” he continued.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia would respond to NATO military exercises scheduled for April-May 2020.
Media sources had earlier said that in the spring of 2020, the United States would conduct large-scale “Defender Europe” exercises in Europe, during which 20,000 troops will be relocated across the Atlantic, in the largest transoceanic redeployment in 25 years.
Washington says the goal of the exercises is to “increase NATO’s combat readiness and deter potential adversaries,” with some 40,000 military personnel from 19 countries participating in the exercises.
Russia has consistently condemned the aggressive posturing by NATO forces at the Russian borders, denouncing the Cold War style rhetoric and actions by the US-led military bloc.