04:32 GMT07 August 2020
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    Russian Western Military District Force Commander said that the US was trying to make Russia out to be an "aggressor against European countries".

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States is making Russia out to be an aggressor state against Europe by citing Russia’s intensification of military exercises, Western Military District Force Commander Gen.Maj. Anatoly Sidorov said Friday.

    “By using the fact the Russian Armed Forces have increased their intensity of operational and combat readiness exercises in [Russia’s] western strategic area, as well as the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the United States is making our country out to be an aggressor against European countries.”

    Last year, the Russian Defense Ministry announced its plans to conduct up to 4,000 military exercises across the country in 2015, a figure comparable with the 3,500 drills the ministry planned for 2014.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that the latest snap combat readiness checks in various Russian military districts were not connected to NATO's growing presence in Eastern Europe, a cause of concern for Moscow.

    Russia's relations with the West nosedived last year after Crimea rejoined Russia from Ukraine following a referendum unrecognized by the West.


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    military drills, Europe, United States, Russia
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