NATO Prepares for Conflict, Russians Claim

The military exercises that have been ongoing for four months near the Russian border are causing tension among Russians

by Sead Dedovic
NATO Prepares for Conflict, Russians Claim
© Henry Nicholls - Pool/Getty Images News

At this moment, Russians don't trust anyone, especially NATO. Their distrust towards NATO has existed for years. This is one of the reasons why the war between Russia and Ukraine began. 

The recent events do not inspire optimism either among Russians or in the world. Namely, the military exercises that have been ongoing for four months near the Russian border are causing tension among Russians, who are likely prepared for various scenarios. 

Maria Zakharova, a Russian politician and the director of the information and press department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, has responded to NATO's accusations that Russia is involved in hybrid attacks on NATO members, considering it false information. 

She particularly emphasized the fact that NATO has been supporting Ukraine, providing weapons from the very beginning. She also spoke about the Steadfast Defender exercises, considering them a concerted act against Russia.

"Right now, NATO's largest exercise since the Cold War, Steadfast Defender, is taking place near Russia's borders. According to their scenario, coalition's actions against Russia are being practiced using all the instruments, including hybrid and conventional weapons," she said.

Zakharova believes that in this way, NATO is warning the Russians, which could also mean the beginning of a new conflict, or war. This is a scenario that many fear. Such a war could have catastrophic proportions and could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. 

The last thing the world needs at this moment is such a conflict. 

However, NATO members have no intention of passively watching what the Russians are doing in Ukraine, ready to take concrete actions. Both sides seem to want to calm the situation, but statements like those from Zakharova do not inspire optimism about the future.

"We have to admit that NATO is seriously preparing for a 'potential conflict' with us."- she said.

General Christopher G. Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, emphasized several months ago that NATO will demonstrate its superiority and unity through these exercises. NATO's intention is for peace to prevail in the world and for such conflicts to become a thing of the past. It is clear that they are sending a warning message to the Russians in this way, who have no intention of giving up their goals in Ukraine.

"Steadfast defender 2024 will be a clear demonstration of our unity, strength and determination to protect each other, our values and the rules-based international order."- Cavoli said.

Alexander Viktorovich Grushko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated in January of this year that such exercises represent a hybrid war by the West against Russia. He believes that NATO's move is returning to Cold War-era plans. Grushko, along with other important political figures in Russia, will not silently observe the situation. Russians are already considering what to do if such a situation escalates. 

The last thing Vladimir Putin wants is for NATO to approach his borders. The Russian leader has been clear from day one regarding NATO and their intentions.

"These exercises are another element of the hybrid war that the West has launched against Russia," Grushko said for RIA.

"An exercise of this scale... marks the definitive and irrevocable return of NATO to Cold War-era plans, where the process of military planning, resources, and infrastructure are prepared for confrontation with Russia."

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits USA House in the Olympic Village on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits USA House in the Olympic Village on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia© Marianna Massey/Getty Images Sport

Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Mircea Geoana: NATO has no intention of sending troops to Ukraine

Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Mircea Geoana, confirmed yesterday that NATO has no intention of sending troops to Ukraine. Although Geoana is cautious and aware of the dangers posed by Russia, he emphasized that NATO has no intention of sending its troops to Ukraine. They are aware that this war could escalate and spread to other countries, potentially leading to greater chaos. Important figures within NATO are well aware of Russia's power, but they also recognize the significant power that NATO possesses, which is much greater.

"At the NATO level, leaders can make statements, everyone has the right to do so. However, as an alliance, we currently have no strategic or political intentions to send NATO troops to Ukraine. We are preparing for the summit in July, which will take place in Washington, and then we will seek greater coordination from Alliance leaders in supporting Ukraine. We still have the same concern about not escalating this war, so it is important to be cautious. The situation on the front is delicate," -Geoana said.

The wish of all world leaders is that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine does not escalate and lead to a new world war. What is evident is that both NATO and Russia are carefully monitoring the situation and not making impulsive decisions. Depending on the situation on the front, both sides will take certain actions. For now, the situation remains identical to the first day of the war.

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