Russian Says U.S. Expansion a Threat
Feb 9, 10:09 PM (ET)
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s top military officer said the United States is expanding its economic, political and military presence in Russia’s traditional zones of influence and described that as the top national security threat, the latest signal of a growing chill in relations.
Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, chief of the military’s General Staff, said Russia now faces even greater military threats than during the Cold War and the nation needs a new military doctrine to respond to these challenges, according to a speech posted on the Defense Ministry’s Web site Friday.
“Russia’s cooperation with the West on the basis of forming common or close strategic interests hasn’t helped its military security,” Baluyevsky said in the speech, delivered at a recent security conference in Moscow. “Moreover, the situation in many regions of the world which are vitally important for Russia and near its borders has sometimes become more difficult.”
Russian-U.S. ties have worsened steadily over disagreements on Iraq and other global crises, and U.S. concerns about an increasingly authoritarian streak in Russia’s domestic policy and strong-arming of ex-Soviet neighbors.
Baluyevsky referred to what he called “the U.S. military leadership’s course aimed at maintaining its global leadership and expanding its economic, political and military presence in Russia’s traditional zones of influence” as a top threat for Russia’s national security.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reacted angrily to U.S. plans to deploy missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying Moscow does not trust U.S. claims they were aimed to counter missile threats from Iran and will take relevant countermeasures. Both countries are former Soviet satellites that became NATO members.
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