Moscow / Washington – Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu accused that US bombers practiced nuclear strike drills just 20 km from Russia’s border. Shoigu alleged after a meeting with the Chinese Defense Minister and also claimed that this exercise was aimed at discerning Russia’s readiness for nuclear war. The Russian Defence Minister also pointed out that Russia and China were increasing their defence cooperation in response to these growing threats from the United States. While Russia’s Defence Minister was raising the issue of the US activities, it has been reported that Russia and the US defence chiefs held talks over the telephone.
Tensions between Russia and the West have been gradually rising over Ukraine and Belarus issues. There is an atmosphere of concern in the United States and Europe over the increasing Russian support and defence assistance to Belarus and the comprehensive military deployment on the Ukrainian border. NATO member states in Europe, including the US, have accelerated their military moves near Ukraine. Along with the US and NATO fighter jets as well as warships, are consistently stationed in regions proximal to Ukraine and practice as well a patrol campaign is underway. The resentment of Russia is said to be growing because of US and NATO moves.
The allegation made by Defence Minister Shoigu seems to be part of that. ‘The movements of the US Strategic bombers have significantly increased near the Russian border. In the past month, US bombers have carried out about 30 flights close to the Russian border. This is two and a half times more than the same period last year. During the US military exercises’ Global Thunder’, 10 American strategic bombers rehearsed launching nuclear weapons against Russia from the western and eastern directions.’
‘The minimum proximity to our state border was 20 km’, the Russian Defence Minister alleged. Shoigu has also claimed that the US bombers’ exercise was to become acquainted with Russia’s readiness for a nuclear war. The Russian Defence Minister pointed out that Russia and China are increasing their defence coordination; against the backdrop of a growing threat posed by the US. It has surfaced that earlier in discussion with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, Russia and China have signed a defence cooperation agreement. According to the agreement, the two countries will increase the scope and the number of joint defence exercises. The deal is for the period 2021 to 2025, sources informed.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Russia’s Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, have had a telephonic discussion. The talks were held on Tuesday and a statement was issued by both countries discussing security issues. This discussion proves to draw attention to the backdrop of the tensions over the Ukraine issue.