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US studies scenarios of carrying out operations near Russian border — defense minister

October 16, 2014, 20:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Chuck Hagel's speechn surprized Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who knows the Pentagon chief personally
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Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Savitsky

MOSCOW, October 16 /TASS/. Pentagon chief's statement that the US army should be ready to deal with modern and capable Russian armed forces is a source of serious concern for Russia. It means that the Pentagon is studying scenarios for operations near Russian borders, Russian Defense Minister General Sergey Shoigu told journalists on Thursday.

"I know US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel personally. That is why his speech at the US army annual meeting in which he called Russia the main enemy surprised all of us, to put it mildly,” Shoigu said.

“Russia’s sovereignty supported by its army and fleet will always be a frontier on which more than one Western emperor broke his teeth over the 1152 years /of Russian history/,” Shoigu said.

The US troops are present in all global trouble spots, Shoigu said, and the regions in which the United State tries to promote democracy has a trend to fall into bloody chaos after the US accomplishes its missions.

“The examples are well-known: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and now Syria. The tragic events in Ukraine also occurred under the open patronage of the US Central Command task force,” Shoigu went on to say.

“As for Russia standing on NATO’s doorstep, no one else but Washington itself has been stubbornly approaching this doorstep closer to our doors,” Shoigu went on to say.

“The unbiased and impartial dialogue on the entire agenda of Russia’s bilateral relations with Western partners rather than escalation of tensions behind someone’s backs could be the only way to find mutually acceptable ways of preserving the existing balance of forces and strengthening strategic stability,” Shoigu concluded.

Speaking at the Association of the US Army’s annual conference on Wednesday Hagel called upon the military to be prepared to deal with Russia which, he argued, is on NATO’s doorstep.

"Threats from terrorists and insurgents will remain with us for a long time, but we must also deal with a revisionist Russia - with its modern and capable army - on NATO’s doorstep,” he claimed.

Vladimir Putin's press secretary on Thursday criticized US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for his remarks, saying they were unprofessional and alarmist.

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