The North Atlantic Alliance will hold military exercises in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Portugal at the end of May-June, according to the headquarters of the NATO Joint Forces in Europe. At the peak of the maneuvers, up to 9 thousand people will take part in them at the same time. In the meantime, the “Rapid Response” exercise has already started in Estonia – the largest in the last 25 years.
Almost 30 thousand military personnel from 26 countries. Among the participants in the Defender Europe maneuvers, aka “Defender of Europe”, there are non-aligned countries – Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The Washington-led exercise is the largest since the end of the Cold War.
“The threat is as follows: after these exercises, some of the military equipment remains on the territory of the countries where the exercises took place. That is, in this way, there is a hidden accumulation of military equipment near our borders,” explains Alexei Leonkov, a military expert for the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine.
These maneuvers, according to the Pentagon, are aimed at deterring potential adversaries. But in fact, the geography of the event – close to the Russian borders – left no room for fantasies about whom it was in question. Western media are not at all shy about describing the exercises as “artillery greetings to Russia.” A month ago, in the same way, the press tried to speculate as much as possible on the activity of the Russian military, who carried out planned maneuvers on their own territory. Newspapers and TV channels, as best they could, reported on the imaginary threat to Ukraine. Under such rhetoric – the arrival of the American military in the ports of Greece, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia and Germany – the taxpayers of NATO countries should have taken it practically as logical and justified. The field artillery of the US Army has already started live-fire practice in Estonia as part of the exercise called “Quick Response”. At the same time, the “Fire Strike” artillery fire was launched in the countries of Africa and Europe. The military will also conduct tactical movements of detachments, drills for dropping bombs and parachute landing.
Many ordinary residents of the EU countries sincerely do not understand why such maneuvers are needed. For example, the Swedish edition of Proletären asks a quite reasonable question: Isn’t NATO exercises near Russian borders an aggression? Swedish reporters emphasize that in the Western media they write about the alleged Russian threat, but no one has seen the real manifestation of this very threat.
“Many European countries have a question, why is all this necessary? The Europeans lived calmly and did not know that Russia could pose a threat. And now the Europeans see that these exercises – instead of protecting – on the contrary provoke Russia”, – said Alexei Leonkov, a military expert for the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine.
Against this background, Washington is allocating more and more generous sums from its treasury under the pretext of containing the formidable enemy – Russia. Thus, only $ 130 million from the US military budget went to modernize the Campia Turzi airbase in Romania to make it an important NATO hub in the Black Sea region. Against this backdrop, the European Union has invited the United States, Canada and Norway to join the military program of the Permanent Security and Defense Cooperation. And it is obvious that the entrance ticket for these countries will also cost a lot of money.
“For this propaganda campaign, material evidence is needed. And the money that flows into these increasing military budgets, under the pretext of military confrontation with Russia and China, is spent on such exercises,” says Boris Rozhin, a military expert
In Europe, more and more people are asking the question: is military maneuvers really necessary, especially against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing quarantine in Western countries? The question of the expediency of the exercises was raised even at the level of the European Parliament. In addition, left-wing German forces issued a communiqué calling for the withdrawal of participation in the maneuvers. The interest of Germany is obvious and understandable – it is from the FRG that the Americans transfer about 800 vehicles to the territory of Hungary and Slovenia.
“The Bundeswehr, together with American troops, can freely move troops day and night. Everything for dubious exercises. In addition, foreign armed forces are not subject to curfews. This is incomprehensible and highly doubtful, given the coronavirus pandemic,” the German media write.
But the transfer of cars, meanwhile, continues. Only at the preparatory stage, 1,200 units of military equipment have already been delivered to Europe. And another 1000 combat vehicles have gone through the process of re-entry in the EU. Maneuvers “Defender of Europe” will last until June. NATO exercises near our borders have been held regularly since 2014. And every year their scale and cost continue to grow.