As NATO looks to bolster its eastern defenses, Russia has vowed to ramp up its military operations. CCTV’s Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.
Russia to increase military ops to compete with NATO\'s bolstering of its east air activityAs NATO looks to bolster its eastern defenses, Russia vows to ramp its military operations as well. CCTV's Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.
Russian air activity has more than doubled over the past year as the country plans to expand its military flights all the way to the U.S. coast and the Gulf of Mexico in what it calls a retaliation against NATO expansion.
“A possible further expansion of NATO to the east will inevitably lead to a serious military and political tilt not only in Europe but in the whole world, directly impact Russia’s national security interests, and will force our country to take necessary adequate measures,” Alexander Lukashevich, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Last December, Ukraine’s parliament renounced its “non-aligned” status, and said that Russia’s aggression showed its stance had not guaranteed Ukraine’s security.
Russia said it will sever ties with NATO if Ukraine becomes a member of the alliance. NATO suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia in April 2014 after its actions in Ukraine.
A majority of Ukrainians now support joining NATO.
“We are not defending only Ukraine, we are not defending only our sovereignty, we are not defending only our territorial integrity. Today on our Eastern border we are defending European security and European freedom,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.
Putin has signed a doctrine naming NATO as Russia’s number one military threat and a Russian general has called for the country to have a preemptive nuclear strike doctrine against the alliance.
Despite the warning of finance ministers Putin has ordered a $500 billion military spending increase to 2020 with more programs announced to start in coming years.