At a NATO conference on Russian influence and power over Central Europe on Monday, Karel Řehka, head of the General Staff of the Czech Army, said that NATO and Russia have never been closer to a direct conflict than they are right now.
Řehka expressed concern about the “serious” situation and the effect it will have on the Czech Republic saying that a conflict with Russia would have a substantial impact on his country.
The general went on to confirm that his country now very clearly sees Russia as a dangerous adversary stating, “We were ashamed to call Russia a threat or an adversary or something like that while they label us that way, treat us that way,” but he continued to express how that perspective has shifted, “It must be said that as the chief of the General Staff, I am positive that if I am going to fight someone here on the European battlefield, I know who it is. Currently, most likely, it is the Russian Federation,” Řehka concluded.
Řehka went on to reiterate that Chezia will continue to remain a close NATO ally saying, “We, as the Army of the Czech Republic, defend ourselves and always will within the framework of the Alliance.”
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He finished his remarks with an eery reminder of the necessity of having a strong military in these dire times, “We should not forget why we have an army and armed forces. The army is there to fight, is supposed to prepare to fight, and is irreplaceable in that role,” Řehka stated.
The rise in concern amid NATO allies comes after Russian President, Vladimir Putin, threatened nuclear war in response to a blast that caused severe damage to the Kerch Bridge that connects the Crimea peninsula with mainland Russia last week.
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