- Sputnik International, 1920
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Kremlin Blasts NATO as ‘Instrument of Confrontation’, Threat to Russia

© Sputnik / Alexey MaishevAn aerial view shows Red Square, in Moscow, Russia.
An aerial view shows Red Square, in Moscow, Russia.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2024
NATO's Steadfast Defender exercise will take place in Europe from February to May. In early October, Rob Bauer, head of NATO's Military Committee, said that during the exercise NATO would work out a response to a possible Russian invasion of the alliance’s eastern flank.
NATO is controlled by the United States and is an instrument of confrontation, posing a threat to Russia, so Moscow is taking appropriate measures, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Well, clearly perceived, in our understanding, NATO is an instrument of confrontation. The alliance, in fact, was conceived, formed, configured and currently managed by the United States precisely as an instrument of confrontation. This instrument continues to fulfill its role, of course, and it is a threat to us - that's how we see it, and appropriate measures are constantly being taken, especially against the backdrop of the fact that the alliance has been moving its military infrastructure to our borders without ceasing for several decades," Peskov said when asked by journalists whether Russia perceives these exercises as a threat to its security and what measures it is taking in this regard.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) sails the South China Sea, Nov. 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.01.2024
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Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO against its eastward expansion, which the Kremlin says could further inflame tensions in Europe. Russia has stressed that the country has no aggressive intentions towards any states, while NATO aims to expand into the post-Soviet space to foment conflicts near Russia's borders. NATO also conducts regular exercises close to the borders of Russia.

IMF's Forecast For Russia’s 2024 GDP

The International Monetary Fund's forecast for Russia’s 2024 GDP growth can be described as "interesting," Dmitry Peskov said.
The IMF expects the growth to be anywhere from 1.1% to 2.6%.
"This is very interesting information. You see that the spread in the forecasts is very large … This suggests that the forecasting potential is relatively narrowed, which is probably why there are so many different points of view," Peskov told reporters.

Tensions Between Ukraine's Top Leaders

Moscow is monitoring the reports regarding the resignation of Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that Kiev has many problems.
"Of course, [the Kremlin] is monitoring [the reports about Zaluzhny] ... One thing remains obvious — the Kiev regime has many problems, everything is wrong there, that is clear," Peskov told reporters.
"Kiev's failed counteroffensive and problems at the fronts lead to growing contradictions among representatives of both the military and civilian leadership," the official added.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources, that the Ukrainian government had postponed the dismissal of Zaluzhny due to a leak of information about his possible resignation. The government had planned to fire Zaluzhny, but on Monday evening, when information leaked, it decided to back off, the report said, adding that now the government is slowing down the process.
Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny  - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.01.2024
Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny Told to Resign, No Official Decree Yet - Lawmaker
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