12:46 Aug. 26, 2016
Pentagon responds to sudden inspection of combat readiness of Russian troops
The US is concerned over Moscow's decision to 'sudden check combat readiness of Russia's armed forces and hopes that Moscow will fulfil its obligations regarding its neighbours in the sphere of arms control and transparency, the Pentagon says, according to Interfax.
"We have seen reports that Russian military began 'sudden' military exercises. We hope that Russia will comply with all relevant obligations and commitments under existing agreements on arms control and confidence measures to provide their neighbours with guarantees and transparency concerning the scale and nature of these activities," Interfax quoted Pentagon's representative Michelle Baldanza as saying on Thursday, August 25.
According to Baldanza, "sudden combat readiness check often occurs before Russia launches large-scale military exercises. As regards the planned 'Caucasus 2016' drills, we are closely monitoring the situation."
"We remain deeply concerned over the increased violence in eastern Ukraine, as well as over Russia holding military drills near the Ukrainian border, taking into account Russia's involvement in the Donbas conflict", said Pentagon's representative.
Baldanza added: "We also know that Kremlin has used military exercises to conceal (its) deployment of weapons to Ukraine. We have repeatedly called on Russia to take steps to reduce tensions in the region, including a full and constructive engagement in negotiations on full implementation of the Minsk agreements".
Furthermore, on August 25, the Polish Defence Ministry held an emergency meeting to discuss this 'sudden inspection of combat readiness of Russian troops'.
Moreover, Lithuania's Defence Ministry claimed that Russia's large-scale military drills which took place on Thursday, August 35, without any previous notification, added to tension in the region.