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    US Deployment of B-52 Bombers to Europe Destabilizing Step - Moscow

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    The relocation of US Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from the United States to Europe is a destabilizing step that undermines international security, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control told Sputnik Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, US media reported about the deployment of the long-range bombers as well as 800 servicemen to the United Kingdom to support military exercises with NATO partners near Russian borders.

    "Of course, we are aware of the relocation of B-52 bombers from [the US state] of Louisiana to the United Kingdom and of the plans to engage the aircraft to several military exercises announced before," Mikhail Ulyanov said.

    The US B-52H Stratofortresses bombers can carry over 312,000 pounds of fuel and a 70,000-pound payload for more than 8,000 miles.

    "The fact that NATO is amassing troops that are practicing battle tasks with the support of US strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons close to Russian borders does not contribute to de-escalation of tensions in Europe. The military buildup carried out by certain countries and their alliances, moreover near the borders of our country, does damage to the international security and destabilizes the situation," the diplomat added.

    The European Command said, "Training with Allies and joint partners improves coordination between Allies and enables the US Air Force to build enduring relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges."

    The Arctic Challenge exercise hosted by Finland, Norway and Sweden is set to conclude on June 2, while Saber Strike, held throughout Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, will last through June 24.

    About 4,000 troops from the United States and 13 European nations will participate in the BALTOPS exercise in Poland through June 16.

    Tags:
    Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Arctic Challenge exercise, NATO, Sweden, Norway, Finland, United States
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