News ID: 96532
Publish Date : 13 November 2021 - 21:33

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that NATO drills near Russia’s border are a dangerous challenge because the bloc is using its strategic air forces.
“Now, the United States and its NATO allies are conducting unscheduled, I want to underline it, unscheduled drills in the waters of the Black Sea. And not only a powerful ship group has been formed, but also aviation, strategic aviation, is being used in the drills”, Putin said.
“I should say that our Defence Ministry also proposed to hold its own unplanned exercises in the same area. But I believe that this is not appropriate and there is no need to further escalate the situation there”, Putin told the TV channel Russia 24.
The president’s statements come after the U.S. and its allies launched drills near Russian waters. Previously, the United States Sixth Fleet’s flagship USS Mount Whitney enetered the Black Sea, and Russia registered multiple reconnaissance flights by NATO aircraft near the Crimea.
Moscow has repeatedly slammed NATO’s activities in the Black Sea as a provocation to spur tensions and pursue a policy of containment of Russia. Putin recently called the drills “destabilizing” and “dangerous”, while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that by sending their vessels to the area near the Russian border Washington is trying to push coastal countries toward confrontational policies.

‘Risk of War Highest in Decades’

Meanwhile, UK Chief of the Defense Staff Nick Carter has argued that due to escalating tensions between the West and Russia, the risk of an accidental war is now the highest in decades.
In an interview with Times Radio, the top British general stated that the UK and the rest of the world are “in a much more competitive world than we were even ten or 15 years ago”.
“And I think the nature of the competition between states and great powers leads to greater tensions. We have to be careful that people don’t end up allowing the bellicose nature of some of our politics to end up in a position where escalation leads to miscalculation”, he added, Sputnik reported.
Carter referred to “many of the traditional diplomatic tools and mechanisms” related to the Cold War era, which he said “are no longer there”.
“And without those there is a greater risk. That’s a real challenge we are confronted with”, he went on to claim.
When asked if the West’s tensions with Russia and the risk of a war were greater now than at any stage in his 44-year career, the general said, “yes”, adding, “when you and I were growing up, it was a bipolar world. Two blocs, the Soviet Union and the West. We’re now into a period where it’s more multipolar”.

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