Russia orders quicker build-up of military facilities in Kurile Islands

An aerial view shows Kunashiri Island, one of four islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and Northern Territories in Japan, is seen in this photo taken 2005. REUTERS/Kyodo

An aerial view shows Kunashiri Island, one of four islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and Northern Territories in Japan, is seen in this photo taken 2005. REUTERS/Kyodo

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday ordered the speeding up of construction of military and civilian infrastructure on a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean where Moscow and Tokyo have rival territorial claims.

Dispute over the islands, known as the Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, has strained relations between the two countries since World War Two, when Soviet forces occupied four islands at the southern end of the chain.

Shoigu was speaking in Russia’s Far East city of Vladivostok while inspecting the eastern military district, his ministry said in a statement. It did not provide more detail.

Moscow has angered Tokyo in recent years by having state officials visit the island chain and stepping up military activities there. Japan says the islands are part of its territory and wants Moscow to hand them over.

Source: Reuters

West must consider arming Ukraine: Ex-NATO head

From CNBC:

The Russia-Ukraine crisis could last decades, the former secretary general of NATO has warned, telling CNBC that the West should consider arming the Ukrainians in a fight that is “part of a bigger Russian master plan.”

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who led the international military alliance of NATO between 2009 and 2014, said that Russia continued to destabilize Ukraine, with “tens of thousands” of troops amassed along the Russian-Ukrainian border and “actively operating” within the country.

“We are all hoping to see a peaceful political solution to this crisis because basically there is no military solution,” Rasmussen told CNBC on Monday.
“The problem is that the Russians seem to think there is a military solution, so they continue to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and my point is, if this continues, I think the time has come to consider the delivery of defensive weapons to the Ukrainians so that they can defend themselves, at least.”

Read More at CNBC

Britain to contribute more to new NATO rapid response force

From Reuters UK:

Britain raised its commitment to NATO’s new rapid response force on Monday, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama pressed Prime Minister David Cameron over defence spending.

Surprised by the speed of Russia’s military intervention in Crimea last year, NATO leaders have approved wide-ranging plans to boost the alliance’s defences in eastern Europe and create a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force with 5,000 soldiers.

British Defence Minister Michael Fallon said Britain would contribute an extra 500 troops to the very high-readiness joint task force from 2016, taking its total to 3,000, before it takes on leadership of the force the following year.

Read More here at Reuters UK:

President Vladimir Putin tells West not to fear Russia

Tanks are seen on a freight train shortly after its arrival at a railway station in the Russian southern town of Matveev Kurgan, near the Russian-Ukrainian border in Rostov region, Russia, May 26, 2015. Picture taken with a mobile phone. REUTERS/Maria Tsvetkova

Tanks are seen on a freight train shortly after its arrival at a railway station in the Russian southern town of Matveev Kurgan, near the Russian-Ukrainian border in Rostov region, Russia, May 26, 2015. Picture taken with a mobile phone. REUTERS/Maria Tsvetkova

“Only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack Nato,” Mr Putin told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The Western alliance is bolstering its military presence in its eastern European members in response to their fears of Russian threat, following its involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
Nato says that Russia is backing rebels in Ukraine – a claim denied by Moscow.

Early this month, Nato pledged to counter “hybrid warfare” from Russia – which included a mixture of conventional military tactics, subversive campaigns and cyber-warfare that Russia was using in Ukraine.

Three Baltic countries are preparing to ask for a permanent presence of Nato troops on their soil to act as a deterrent to the Russian military.

A 5,000-strong Nato “spearhead” force is being established and six small headquarters set up to co-ordinate operations.

In his interview with Corriere della Sera, Mr Putin said some countries were “simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia” in order to receive “some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid”.

“There is no need to fear Russia,” Mr Putin said.

“The world has changed so drastically that people with some common sense cannot even imagine such a large-scale military conflict today. We have other things to think about, I assure you.”

Heavy fighting has erupted in Ukraine this week, focusing on the towns of Maryinka and Krasnohorivka, west of rebel-held Donetsk.

The opposing sides have accused each other of shattering February’s Minsk ceasefire, requiring them to withdraw heavy weapons from the frontline.

Read More here at the BBC News

Nato Criticises Russia Amid Upsurge in Ukraine Conflict

Nato said on Thursday Russia was delivering sophisticated weaponry to rebels in eastern Ukraine, renewing long-standing accusations amid the worst upsurge in fighting in months between the Kiev government’s forces and pro-Russian rebels.

Earlier, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko told his military to be prepared for the possibility of a “full-scale invasion” by Russia across the entire length of the joint border.

“We have precise information that Russia is present in eastern Ukraine and that it has delivered large quantities of heavy, advanced weapons to the separatists,” Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Oslo.

“Artillery, anti-aircraft systems, advanced weapons systems. They have supplied more than 1,000 units of this kind to the separatists.”

“Russia has a particular responsibility [to end the conflict] because they back the separatists and supply them with heavy arms. They also have forces in eastern Ukraine,” Mr Stoltenberg added.

Moscow denies sending troops into Ukraine or helping to arm the rebels. The United Nations says more than 6,400 people have been killed in the conflict, which began in April 2014.

Read More Here at the Irish Times

1 39 40 41 42 43 44