07:55 GMT +330 March 2017
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    Dark clouds hang over the Reichstag, the German parliament Bundestag building, in Berlin

    What's Behind German Intelligence Chief's Warning of 'Greater Russian Threat'

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    President of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Bruno Kahl suggested that Russia could meddle in the country's upcoming elections, although Moscow has always maintained that it does not engage in such activities. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, political analyst Pavel Svyatenkov dismissed these unfounded claims as disinformation.

    It has become customary to invoke the supposed threat emanating from Russia in the West and Germany is no exception, he said.

    Germans "have also resorted to this social tactic, speaking not only about 'scary Russian hackers,' but also soldiers. German intelligence services have not merely tried to spread misleading information through media, but have adopted a more fundamental approach. They have used more or less rational grounds [to criticize Russia], but have failed to take one aspect into account. All Russian activities in Kaliningrad and Crimea have been undertaken in response to NATO's eastward expansion," the analyst explained.

    These comments came after Kahl told Der Spiegel that the Russian leadership could try to influence the outcome of the German elections because Moscow wants Berlin to lift anti-Russian sanctions. He also asserted that "the Russian threat has become greater," adding that the BND is "taking it extremely seriously."

    "It isn't just the propaganda threat. Conventional issues are likewise returning to the agenda," he elaborated. "Russia has doubled its forces on its western border – and we aren't just talking about Iskander missiles. There are also a lot of missiles in the Crimea region. And conventional armed forces. You can't interpret all that as being part of a defensive stance against the West. It also must be seen as a potential threat."

    High-ranking Russian officials have always said that any deployments along the country's western border are purely defensive and come as a response to NATO's unprecedented military buildup in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region.

    Svyatenkov also suggested that German intelligence services could be trying to use the non-existent threat from Russia to convince the government and the people to boost the military budget.

    "This could be used to convince Germans to support increased military spending, something the United States has strongly advocated," he said. "In addition, Germany has always been Russia's geopolitical rival."

    The Trump administration has been critical of the NATO members who spend less than the required 2 percent of GDP on defense. In 2015, only five countries, comprising the United States, the UK, Poland, Estonia and Greece, met the threshold.

    This issue had been on the agenda of the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    On March 17, Trump described the current spending imbalance as "very unfair" to the United States, but added that he thanked Merkel for her government's "commitment to increase defense spending and work toward contributing at least 2 percent of GDP."  Last year, Germany allocated 1.2 percent of GDP on defense.

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    Tags:
    defense spending, military buildup, "Russian threat", NATO, German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, Germany, Russia
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    • avatar
      tobi.gelando
      Since the Usa (cia nasa) is spying out the handy / telephone from Fr. Merkel the Usa has instructed (bnd) Bruno Kahl to spread this news about Russia !!!
      Germany should be very aware of the Usa !!!
    • JOHN CHUCKMAN
      And does anyone believe that the head of German intelligence ever opens his mouth without pre-approval from the CIA, the very people who have fostered "Russian interference" garbage all along?
    • Blackiein reply toJOHN CHUCKMAN(Show commentHide comment)
      JOHN CHUCKMAN,
      It will be their last try at Barbarossa, so they need another lesson....
    • sapper
      He's been drinking again and probably smoking something exotic!!!
    • sapperin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, There's plenty of space for them in the Siberian salt mines!!!
    • siberianhusky
      The German Generals still like to pissed off that the lost the WW@ in Russia and want to refight it too see if they can win..
      It's in the genes. give them hobnailed boots and a brown shirt and they will march around the room and scream "Sieg Heil"
      The German Generals still like to pissed off that the lost the WW@ in Russia and want to refight it too see if they can win..
      It's in the genes. give them hobnailed boots and a brown shirt and they will march around the room and scream "Sieg Heil"
      They forget they like their fore bearers that they might end up in a Russian gulag
    • avatar
      belgradetower
      BND has been CIA subdivision for a very long time and Germans have been kept in dark convinced by their own politicians that everything is under control. How silly, isn't it?
    • avatar
      newdays
      Hoping to move the focus of EU and German corruptions, Germany bellows about Russia.
    • Blackiein reply tosapper(Show commentHide comment)
      sapper,
      Well put.
      One weird story from a French wounded officer told a tale of a big explosion above as they were inside Moscow? They fled with radiation burns ? and even the animals died also. Then they all got done!
      The Man in charge before the attack told all to just leave! and he had a reason.
      That was when the French tried their luck.
      So to today they think they can blitz Crimea overnight with superior numbers, then go back towards Ukraine, Donbass and Donjetsk for "mop up".
      I promise you they shall get a very warm welcome.
      The Chechens will put them on the barbie.
    • sapperin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, I'm sure they'll get a VERY warm welcome down in hell!
      It strikes me like a bunch of kids doing a dare and seeing who will kick off first. If NATO starts something Russia will finish it!
    • Blackiein reply tosapper(Show commentHide comment)
      sapper,
      Remember charge of the light brigade!
    • sapperin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, They never seem to remember their history lessons. Russia is a very large country and it won't help NATO to have the whole country against them. Napoleon and Hitler must be laughing at the idiots for being just as stupid!
    • Blackiein reply tosapper(Show commentHide comment)
      sapper,
      Very true as German journalists must write propaganda just like1939.
      What comes to mind today is the poor top brass lack of discipline raping
      their own soldiers .
    • sapperin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, They're only getting away with it because their victims think that's part of military training. Top brass don't live in the real world any more!! There's a film called "The Pentagon Wars" on youtube which gives a very good portrayal of the way things have gone!
    • Blackie
      I will take a look.
      Germany has lost all its marbles and they live in poverty an misery together with the misery the new Germans suffer on hartz four, and no work.
      www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/03/20/germ-m20.html
    • Blackie
      News flash German misery takes over Europe.
      The EU just will not go away, and the euro seems to go on forever, maybe for another 20 years of misery?
      That is the power of creating money from thin air(thin air euro, new name?) .
      So you cannot eat thin air.......
    • Blackie
      People are starving to death there in the EU .
    • Blackie
      Makes the EU leaders proud to kill .
    • Mother Gorillain reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, if there is a Russian threat, the German threat is greater:

      www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4176740/German-military-recruits-perform-sadistic-sex-acts.html
    • sapperin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, That's why there's always money for war, just add a few zeros on the end but keep the rest of us in perpetual misery. Die Frau Kanzler Merkel vas only folloving orders!!!
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