Russia to act against NATO's aggressive rhetoric: Putin
Iran Press TV
Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:7AM
President Vladimir Putin says Russia will take adequate measures to counter NATO's increasingly "aggressive rhetoric."
"NATO is strengthening its aggressive rhetoric and its aggressive actions near our borders," Putin said in an address to the lower house of parliament on Wednesday.
He said Russia must work to strengthen its combat readiness at a time when NATO is expanding and moving its infrastructure towards Russia's borders.
"In these conditions, we are duty-bound to pay special attention to solving the task of strengthening the combat readiness of our country."
Putin further called for the creation of an international security system void of "bloc-like thinking" and open to all countries.
"Russia is ready to discuss this extremely important issue," he said, adding that such proposals have been so far left unanswered by Western countries.
Putin's remarks come as the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw in early July is set to put the "Russian threat" high on the agenda.
On Tuesday, Vladimir Komoyedov, the head of the Defense Committee of Russia's State Duma (lower house of parliament) dismissed remarks by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg who accused Moscow of violating "the Fundamental act of NATO-Russia."
Komoyedov said that the accusations do not bear scrutiny, saying it is actually the Western military bloc that is constantly boosting its potential near Russian borders.
"Everyone understands that these are not some peace doves that fly to us to feed from our hands," he said.
"These are the beasts that, once allowed to react to the alleged Russian 'aggression,' would bite off the whole hand up to the shoulder and wouldn't even choke on it," he added.
NATO has stepped up its military buildup near Russia's borders since it suspended all ties with Moscow in April 2014 after the Black Sea Crimean Peninsula re-integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum.
The US and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine.
However, there is disagreement within the bloc, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticizing NATO for having a bellicose policy towards Russia, describing it as "warmongering".
NATO announced last Monday that it would deploy four battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to counter a more assertive Russia, ahead of a landmark summit in Warsaw next month.
Russia has said it will create three new divisions in its southwest region to meet what it describes as a dangerous military buildup along its borders.
Putin on Wednesday accused the West of rejecting overtures from Russia to help tackle the common foe of "international terrorism."
The Russian leader was addressing parliament on the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union.
Drawing historic parallels with the 1930s, Putin said humanity now faced a danger of failing to withstand the fast-spreading threat of terrorism, just as it once failed to unite against the rising power of Nazi Germany.
"What kind of a lesson is still needed today to discard old and frayed ideological disagreements and geopolitical games and to unite in the fight against international terrorism?" he said.
Russia is aiding Syria with airstrikes and military advice in the Arab country's battle against foreign-backed Takfiri groups and other militants.
The US and its allies support militants opposed to the Syrian government under the declared aim of fighting Daesh terrorists.
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