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Russian Defense Minister Shoigu Argues Moscow Is Not Looking for an Arms Race

Sept. 6, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters today that Russia is not interested in an arms race with the U.S., but is forced to combat capabilities in response to unfriendly actions by NATO. “All measures taken are aimed exclusively at strengthening the defense, are limited in scale and correspond to modern military dangers,” he said after the closing ceremony of the International Army Games at the Alabino training range outside of Moscow.

“We are not interested in the arms race. To reduce tensions, we intend to adhere to the maximum openness regarding military activity,” Sputnik quoted him as saying, and further stating that the relevant information is being posted on the Defense Ministry’s website, while briefings are held for military attachés and media. Shoigu explained that Russia had offered NATO a reduction in the number of drills amid the pandemic to prevent further difficulties, but the Alliance responded negatively.

With respect to the NATO-Russia confrontation, Shoigu said that the NATO deployment to Eastern Europe has surpassed 10,000 troops and that Russia expects there will be more. “Under the pretext of the need to ‘strategically constrain’ Russia, the United States and other non-regional members of the Alliance are bolstering their military presence in Eastern Europe,” he said.

Shoigu also reported that there have been 30% more NATO surveillance flights so far in 2020 than there were for the same period in 2019. “There were 87 flights last August and now there are about 120,” Shoigu said . He said that on Aug. 23 through Sept. 2, the Russian Aerospace Forces scrambled their jets at least ten times to intercept spy planes over the Baltic, Barents and Black Seas.

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