US, Russia Trade Warnings Over North European Buildup

Putin: US Trying to Start a New Arms Race With Missile Defense

by Jason Ditz, May 13, 2016

US and Russian officials traded warnings once again today over the growing number of military assets deployed in northern Europe, with each insisting the other bore full responsibility for the growing tensions in the area.

Russian President Vladimir Putin centered his complaints both on the US buildup in Poland and the new US missile defense base in Romania, saying that the Americans are attempting to start a new arms race by putting strategic weapons along their frontier.

Putin insisted the attempt to start a new arms race would fail, but did say that Russia is prepared to react to “neutralize” the missile defense system, likely to mean the deployment of additional missiles into the exclave of Kaliningrad, bordering Poland.

US officials, for their part, signed a joint statement with Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway slamming “Russian aggression” in the region, centering around their holding of military drills inside Russian territory close to the frontier.

Recent reports have indicated that the Pentagon is increasingly split on the alarmist rhetoric targeting Russia, with many saying the Army is driving the allegations with an eye toward getting more of the budget with claims of unrealistic Russian military capabilities.

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