As President Trump gets set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, for their first bilateral summit, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu declared today that American and NATO bases were too close to Russian borders.
“I have long wanted to give American colleagues a globe so they can look at it and explain why the declared ‘enemies of America,’ are located in the Middle East and the Far East and all their military bases and forces are snuggled up to Russian borders,” Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying in the interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale, reported The Moscow Times. He said that NATO expanded eastwards to Russian borders in spite of promises given to Soviet leaders during German unification.
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The defense minister also said Russia may still go ahead with selling advanced air defense systems to Syria, over Israeli and American objections. “Today, after the aggression of the United States, Great Britain and France against Syria, showing the need for a modern air defense system for Syrians, we are ready to return to looking at this question,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.
Russians have long complained about NATO’s creeping expansion right up to the Russian border, accepting former members of the Warsaw Pact into the alliance. In particular, missile defense systems stood up in Poland and Romania, as protection against Iranian, or other rogue state missiles, bother the Russian Ministry of Defense.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly flown to Moscow to confer with the Russian leadership regarding Iranian forces in Syria and the Mullah’s support of Hezbollah in Lebanon. The issue will most definitely be on the table for the Helsinki summit. In fact, Tsarizm expects a deal regarding Iran and the Levant to be put in place after the meeting, with Israel’s involvement as well.