Press TV. Listen here: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/05/11/465120/Russia-US-Missiles-NATO-Preston
The United State and NATO’s move to activate a so-called missile shield across Europe is part of America’s plan to gain “the upper hand” against Moscow, says an American political analyst in Virginia.
Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of the attackthesystem.com, made the remarks while discussing Washington’s decision to activate its web of missile systems across Europe despite Russian warnings.
The US argues that the system is aimed at curbing an Iranian missile threat to Europe while Moscow conclusively rejects those claims, saying Moscow is the main target of the move.
“When the Americans are claiming that this is simply to deter Iranian missile attacks, that is a smokescreen argument,” Preston said Wednesday. “What this really is about is trying to encircle Russia.”
Ever since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been exploring ways to increase its influence in Eastern Europe and that is why it is “extending” the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “as far as it can close to Russian borders”, Preston argued.
“NATO is really a projection of American military power,” Preston said, adding that most members of the US-led military alliance are “subsidized” by Washington.
The US-led military alliance has been deploying troops and equipment close to Russia’s borders, including the Baltic region, since it suspended all ties with Moscow in April 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in June last year that if threatened by NATO, Moscow will respond to the threat accordingly.
“They [Russians] regard Eastern Europe and Central Asia as their historic spear of influence” and want to protect their “legitimate geopolitical, defensive and economic interests in those regions,” Preston further noted.
On Saturday, Russia criticized NATO’s upcoming joint military exercises in Georgia, calling them a provocative step to intentionally destabilize the Caucasus region.
The exercises will include approximately 1,300 service members, including 650 American, 500 Georgian and 150 British personnel, and will consist of field training and live fire exercises.
The US has also shipped tanks from Bulgaria to the Georgian city of Batumi ahead the drills.
Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in 2008 after Tbilisi launched a major offensive against the independence-seeking republic of South Ossetia in a bid to retake control of the region.
Russia’s NATO Ambassador Alexander Grushko warned the 28-member alliance in late April that the Kremlin will respond with “all necessary measures” to Western “attempts to use military force.”