BRUSSELS, February 2 -- NATO strives towards a constructive relationship with Russia despite the US’ exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a statement by the NATO member countries informed.
"We continue to aspire to a constructive relationship with Russia, when Russia’s actions make that possible," the document states. The alliance places the responsibility for the US exiting the INF treaty on Russia. The exit procedure will take six months. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Friday that the US would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty on February 2.
US President Donald Trump said earlier in a statement that the United States will get down to working on several options regarding a military response to Russia’s violations of its obligations under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty in order to neutralize Moscow’s advantages. A US official stated on Friday that the US would notify Russia, along with several post-Soviet states, officially via a diplomatic note of their decision to apply Article 15 of the INF Treaty and to suspend their obligations under the treaty.
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington on many occasions accused Russia of violating the Treaty but Moscow strongly dismissed all accusations and expressed grievances concerning Washington’s non-compliance. Pompeo said on December 4, 2018, that Washington would suspend its obligations under the Treaty unless Moscow returned to compliance within 60 days. On December 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that Washington had not provided evidence proving Moscow’s violations of the document. He also said that Russia called for maintaining the Treaty but if the United States pulled out of it, Moscow would have to give an appropriate response.
FORT WORTH, January 31 -- The Royal Netherlands Air Force rolled out its first operational F-35A during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility that at times resembled a rave rather than a corporate ceremony.
The RNAF expects to acquire 37 F-35As, and it already received two operational test aircraft in 2013 that are now flying at Edwards AFB, Calif. The jet that rolled out Wednesday will ferry to Luke AFB, Ariz., for F-35A pilot training. It will then move to Leeuwarden AB, Netherlands, which will be a “huge driver for change for our air force and will have tremendous impact on the relevance of our Air Force as part of the coalition,” RNLAF Commander Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt said at the ceremony.
So far, Lockheed has delivered more than 360 F-35s, which are flown by 10 nations and at 16 bases worldwide, according to the company. Five services have declared initial operating capability, while two nations—the US and Israel—have used the jet in combat. The Lockheed facility hosted two Dutch DJs, along with massive screens and laser lights for a crowd of US and Dutch VIPs in military service dress and business attire, some with Dutch orange cowboy hats.
KUBINKA, January 23 -- Russia is not violating any points of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
Head of the Missile Troops and Artillery of Russia’s Ground Forces Lieutenant-General Mikhail Matveyevsky told this at a briefing on the 9M729 missile for military attaches. "Russia has observed and continues strictly observing the points of the Treaty and does not allow any violations," Matveyevsky said. The military official noted that the ongoing US campaign on accusing Russia of violating the INF Treaty is groundless. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).
On January 15, Russia and the US held inter-agency consultations on the INF Treaty in Geneva. Washington again accused Moscow of breaching the arms control agreement. The US threatens to leave the treaty on February 2 unless Russia destroys its 9M729 missile, which allegedly violates the agreement. Russia told colleagues that during the Zapad-2017 drills on September 18, 2017 this missile was test-launched at the Kapustin Yar proving ground at its maximum range and it covered less than 480 km.
ROTTERDAM, January 15 -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is a supporter of international organizations such as the European Union.
But he also thinks President Trump has some legitimate complaints about multilateralism — and he apparently has little patience for some of Trump’s Dutch critics. “It pisses me off when I hear white-wine-sipping Amsterdam elites say that Trump is so wrong,” Rutte said Sunday in an interview on Buitenhof, a Dutch TV program. “In NATO, lots of things are not good. In the [World Trade Organization,] lots of things are not good. In the European Union, lots of things are not good,” he said. “So let’s make use of the presence of someone like Trump, who sometimes rightly says, ‘Guys, this is not good.’ ”
Rutte singled out E.U. policy as an area where there is not enough coordination between groups. “Eastern Europe does nothing at all and leaves it to the Netherlands and Germany to decide,” he said.
Rutte also pushed back on talk that he might be the next president of the European Council, suggesting that he had never been asked. The Dutch prime minister went on to say that upcoming European Parliament elections, in which the far right may make big gains, are not that important, especially given that turnout is “so low.” (E.U. data shows that voter turnout for the last election, held in 2014, was 42.6 percent).
Rutte’s comments drew criticism from some Dutch citizens, especially those based in Amsterdam. Zeeger Ernsting, a member of the city council for the GroenLinks party, tweeted a picture of Rutte sharing a glass of white wine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
TEHRAN, January 4, -- Deputy Chief of Navy Force of the Iranian Army announced that the army's naval fleet will enter the Atlantic Ocean in early 2019 on a five-month voyage.
Admiral Touraj Hasnai Moqaddam said in an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Friday that the trip will be conducted in accordance with the order of the hierarchy of command.
'The Atlantic Ocean is a long route, and it is likely that this Iranian mission would take five months to complete,' he added. The deputy commander of the Navy, arguing that the Iranian navy would rotate the planet Earth, said, 'A member of the Iranian navy will be the Sahand destroyer.' Sahand, the most advanced destroyer of West Asia, joined the Navy’s south fleet in Bandar Abbas on December 1. This four-engine destroyer has been designed and made more advanced than its predecessor, Jamaran destroyer, with radar-evading capabilities.
BEIJING, December 19 -- China is watching closely as the EU advances its defense integration in the face of anxieties over Russia and US President Donald Trump’s wavering commitment to NATO.
The aim of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) and the Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO) is to streamline the EU’s defense spending, investment and operations. As a potential complement to NATO, its development will impact China’s foreign policy ambitions. In a new China Monitor, Scott W. Harold, political scientist at RAND corporation and MERICS visiting fellow, explores five scenarios for how China’s interaction with the new initiative might develop. China has traditionally viewed the EU as an “important strategic partner” in the promotion of a “multi-polar international order.”
Harold notes the potential value of the integration efforts to China as a “reinsurance policy” against the United States. Should the project deepen trans-Atlantic divisions, “Beijing may seek to encourage breakdowns in trust between Washington and Brussels,” Harold writes.
MOSCOW, December 18 -- The Russian Navy will take the delivery of 12 warships and combat boats, two submarines and four Bal and Bastion coastal defense systems in 2019.
efense Minister Sergei Shoigu said this at the ministry’s year-end board meeting attended by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. "A total of 12 warships and combat boats, two submarines and 12 support vessels will enter service with the Navy. Four Bal and Bastion coastal defense systems will be delivered to the troops. As a whole, the task is to raise the share of modern weaponry in the Navy to 64%," the defense chief said.
The Bastion mobile coastal defense missile system with the standardized Yakhont (Oniks) supersonic homing anti-ship cruise missile is designed to strike surface ships of various classes and types from amphibious assault formations, convoys, naval and carrier strike groups, and also sole warships and ground radiocontrast targets amid intensive fire and jamming.
The Bal mobile coastal defense missile complex with the Kh-35 anti-ship missile is designed to control territorial waters and straits, defend naval bases, other coastal facilities and infrastructure, and also defend the coastline in the areas vulnerable to amphibious assaults. The system can be used in any weather conditions, day and night with the fully autonomous guidance after the launch amid an enemy’s fire and jamming. The system can strike targets at a range of 120km with the Kh-35 missile and 260km with the Kh-35U missile.
MOSCOW, December 18 -- Intelligence agencies from at least ten countries have been showing high interest in Russia’s Armed Forces.
The head of the Military Counterintelligence Department at the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Colonel General Nikolai Yuryev revealed in an interview ahead of the military counterintelligence agency’s centennial anniversary. "Russia’s Armed Forces still are a matter of interest for foreign intelligence agencies," he noted. "This is proven by the fact that military counterintelligence officers exposed dozens of intelligence agents from the US, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia and Poland," Yuryev added. The general stressed that the FSB Military Counterintelligence Department and army security agencies were particularly tasked with preventing foreign intelligence agencies from reaching out to the Russian Armed Forces, collecting intelligence concerning security threats, preventing terrorist and subversive activities against the army, as well as with protecting state secrets, countering organized crime, corruption, arms and drug trafficking in the army.
Russia’s military counterintelligence agency will mark its centennial anniversary on December 19.
MOSCOW, December 1 -- The Russian Aerospace Forces have successfully conducted a test-firing of a modernised air defence rocket at the Sary Shagan testing range in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
According to Colonel Sergei Grabchuk, the officer tasked with running the department which operates the Russian Aerospace Forces anti-missile defence system, after a series of tests, the new antimissile defence system "confirmed the characteristics that were set to it and successfully completed the task, hitting the conventional target with a given accuracy".
The air defence system is in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces and is designed to protect against air attacks.