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.”
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.