SU-30SM, SU-35S, and SU-34 flying in formation - Sputnik International, 1920
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NATO Draws Up Plan to Deploy Forces in Europe in Event of Conflict With Russia - Reports

© AP Photo / CHRISTOF STACHEUS soldiers at the exercise area in Grafenwoehr, Germany
US soldiers at the exercise area in Grafenwoehr, Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.02.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO's Joint Support and Enabling Command center in Germany is drawing up a plan for the deployment of the alliance's forces across Europe, including their support and reinforcement in the event of a conflict with Russia, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials.
The new plan, prepared at the NATO center located in Germany's southern city of Ulm, will reportedly build on the experience of NATO's Steadfast Defender military exercise launched in January. The drills are about "preparing for a conflict with Russia," NATO Military Committee Chair Adm. Rob Bauer was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The initiative comes as new estimates of Russia's military capabilities and a recent assessment of its arms production capacity have set off alarms among Western officials and prompted the West to invest more in defense, the report said.
It also follows growing alarmism among Western officials and politicians in recent weeks about supposed Russian plans to attack NATO member countries, an idea Russian officials have dismissed out of hand.

"We assess that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] takes our Article 5 commitment seriously and does not want to go to war with NATO," one senior US defense official anonymously told the Financial Times, referring to the NATO Charter's article on collective defense in case of aggression against an alliance member by a third party.

Meanwhile, in an interview with journalist Tucker Carlson last week, President Vladimir Putin said that NATO countries were trying to intimidate their own populations with an imaginary Russian threat. Russia has no interest in waging a war against NATO, Putin added.
The Steadfast Defender military exercise is taking place in the Atlantic and Europe, involving some 90,000 troops from 31 allies and Sweden, and will last until the end of May.
Russian and NATO flags - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2024
European NATO Members Know 'Russia Threat' Rhetoric is a Lie - Expert
In recent years, Russia has witnessed unprecedented NATO activity near its western borders. Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern about the alliance's buildup of forces in Europe. The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Moscow remains open to dialogue with NATO, but on an equal footing, while the West should abandon its policy of militarizing the continent.
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