The United States announced on Thursday that they are moving the 2nd Cavalry Regiment to a Polish outpost in an attempt to bolster allied nations against what they see is a military threat from Russia. However, the Russians have accused both the US and NATO of violating a peace treaty between it and NATO and says that the West is undermining Russian security by surrounding it with hostile forces bent on aggression.
Vladimir Shamanov, head of the defense committee for Russia’s lower house of parliament, said the country would consider adding more nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles on its side of the border to deter a U.S. military buildup in the region.
“This creates prerequisites that may eventually enable them to create a certain stronghold. We will surely not turn a blind eye on this. We will take retaliatory measures,” Shamanov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian news agency.
“Not just personnel, but combat equipment. For instance, the group of Iskanders, including that in Kaliningrad, may be increased,” he added.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said it was the U.S. “preparing for the aggression” by stationing the 2nd Cavalry Regiment across Russia’s border without removing the military equipment of U.S. forces previously posted there, a move he said violated the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act. The agreement was designed to end decades of Cold War animosity between the two sides and states that “NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries.”
With Russia trying to expand its influence far beyond its borders, the NATO alliance hopes to counter that by placing troops in Poland as well as in Romania near the Black Sea. It is there where both NATO and Russia have contended for influence. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis emphasized that the purpose of the deployment was “peace, not war,” however the Russians also consider that move “provocative and unacceptable”.
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