Aleksandar Grushko, the deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation, has expressed concern over the scale of NATO's upcoming military exercises, arguing that they mark the Alliance's "final and irrevocable" return to Cold War strategies.
The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), US General Christopher Cavoli, recently announced the start of the "Steadfast Defender 2024" military exercises. These exercises, which will be the largest in decades, will last several months and will involve around 90,000 soldiers from 31 NATO member countries, as well as several NATO partner countries.
Grushko argued that these maneuvers were part of what he called the West's "hybrid war" against Russia. He emphasized that the sheer size of the exercise, involving 90,000 personnel and multiple nations, signals NATO's return to Cold War-era military planning and infrastructure specifically aimed at confronting Russia.
"The goal of these exercises is to test possible conflict scenarios with Russia," Grushko said in an interview with the state-run RIA Agency. He accused Western officials of making "irresponsible statements about a possible war with Russia," creating an "artificially heated environment of military psychosis" aimed at demonizing Russia.
Furthermore, Grushko claimed that the "intimidating" rhetoric has its purpose, which is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and force European nations to intensify their participation in the arms race. "With the intimidation of the common man, the justification of the unrestrained increase in military expenditures and the completely failed policy of supporting the Kiev regime, with the aim of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia.
And at the same time to force the Europeans to join the arms race even more energetically, to the joy of the American military-industrial complex," said Grushko. He ultimately accused the West of manipulating public perception to gain support for an aggressive stance toward Russia, pointing to what he sees as a deliberate effort to promote a climate of fear and prepare for potential conflict.
We are witnessing the deepening of the division between Russia and NATO in the midst of, we can safely say, a geopolitical situation that has never been more complex. Conflicts are opening all over the world, and the statements of the officials of the largest countries are not at all promising.