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Russian Defense Minister Details NATO’s Provocative Expansion Against Russia

Dec. 11, 2015 (EIRNS)—Speaking today at the extended session of the Russian Defense Ministry Board, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu offered a detailed report on the provocative expansion of NATO in Western and Eastern Europe, which is clearly aimed at Russia—and nothing else.

"The tendency of aggravation of the military and political international situation has been continued, especially in Europe, Central Asia and Middle East,"

Shoigu warned, in his broad-ranging speech, which covered all aspects of Russia’s defense capabilities and state of readiness.

NATO’s expansion has occurred quickly, he said, incorporating 12 new members in a relatively short period of time. "Today, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine are preparing to join NATO," he said. Finland, Sweden, Serbia and Moldova are being pulled into NATO’s areas of interest.

The number of NATO aircraft has increased eightfold, Shoigu reported, while the number of servicemen increased thirteen-fold on the territories of the Baltic states, Poland and Romania. Up to 300 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are scheduled for these nations as well, and the Aegis Ashore missile defense systems are being deployed to Romania and Poland as well.

In addition, there are approximately 200 American nuclear air bombs, in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey, Moreover, 310 delivery aircraft are in different states of readiness. The Russian Defense Minister also noted that a cybersecurity center has been set up in Tallinn, in Estonia, and a strategic propaganda center in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The purpose of the latter, he said, is to allow NATO member states to attain "informational superiority" over Russia.