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Pentagon Warns Europe of Russia Posing Bigger Security Threat Than China

© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf / Go to the photo bankThe Pantsir-S mobile self-propelled surface-to-air anti-aircraft system vehicles are parked during its preparation for the upcoming Victory Day Military Parade, in Moscow, Russia.
The Pantsir-S mobile self-propelled surface-to-air anti-aircraft system vehicles are parked during its preparation for the upcoming Victory Day Military Parade, in Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.09.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russia may be the source of bigger security challenges for the United States and Europe in the short term than China, US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Colin Kahl said.

"In the coming years, Russia may actually represent the primary security challenge that we face in the military domain for the United States and certainly for Europe. Russia is an increasingly assertive adversary that remains determined to enhance its global influence and play a disruptive role on the global stage, including through attempts to divide the West", Kahl said at the Lithuania-hosted Baltic Military Conference on Friday.

The Pentagon official said that while China might be the "the pacing threat" to Washington and its allies, Russia might be a greater problem in the short term judging from its behaviour in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and cyberspace.

"Far too often, Moscow erodes transparency and predictability, uses military force to achieve its goals, supports proxy groups to sow chaos and doubt, undermines the rules-based international order," he said, adding that "The United States continues to closely monitor Russian military activity along NATO's eastern flank and in the Black Sea region".

The US will interact with Russia from a position of collective strength, Kahl said, noting that US military forces in Europe remained strong and flexible, ensuring "credible and effective deterrence".
© Sputnik / Alexander Halperin / Go to the photo bankThe aerial part of the parade was also held in St. Petersburg
The aerial part of the parade was also held in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.09.2021
The aerial part of the parade was also held in St. Petersburg
At the same time, the US government does not rule out the option of resuming the dialogue with Moscow if the Russian government changes its behaviour, the Pentagon official said.
The Baltic Military Conference is an annual event on security organised by the Lithuanian defence ministry and the General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy. This year, the conference was titled "The West in a New Era of Great Power Rivalry" and focused on the transatlantic response to the security challenges posed by Russia and China.
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