112UA, 27 June 2017
NATO’s senior military officer said the alliance was confronting efforts by Russia to increase its military capabilities on virtually every level and allies were on guard to prevent any repeat of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said on Monday that while Russia’s intentions were not necessarily clear, its growing military prowess was undeniable. This was reported by Politico agency.
“We in uniform, we define the threat based on two major elements. One is the capability, the other is the intent. When it comes to capability there is no doubt that Russia is developing their capabilities both in conventional and nuclear components. When it comes to exercises, their ability to deploy troops for long distance and to use them effectively quite far away from their own territory, there are no doubts,” Pavel said.
The Kremlin’s intentions were less clear, he said. “When it comes to intent, it’s not so clear because we cannot clearly say that Russia has aggressive intents against NATO,” the general said.
Still, he noted Russia’s increasing military presence, and made reference to reports of the stationing of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad and Crimea.
“There are elements that have to worry us and we have to stay ready,” Pavel said. “So we take this even potential threat very seriously. We do everything possible to be ready both in terms of capabilities and readiness, to face any potential threat that would mirror the situation we know from Crimea, from eastern Ukraine, not to be repeated against any NATO ally.”