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05.02.2016 (12:25)

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov had a meeting with representatives of leading media agencies

Russian military department suggested its Western colleagues creating an advisory center in Amman (Jordan) in order to cooperate in Syria. The US refused. This was stated by Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov.

According to Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu suggested a telephone conversation with Ashton Carter. This happened on January 19. The Russian defence department was indicated that such conversation was not a rational one. 

He also reminded that Russia had suggested the USA and the coalition a “broad cooperation”, which included sharing information about target location in Syria, establishing communication channels and joint operations aimed to rescue pilots in case of emergency.

The Deputy Defence Minister said that Americans had refused to cooperate. They stated that two countries were pursuing different aims. The American party has just signed the Memorandum on preventing conflicts in the sky over Syria. The Russian Federation agreed to sign it taking into account that the Memorandum could be a starting point for establishing full-scale effort coordination in fighting against international terrorism.

Last year, American and Russian military officials signed a document aimed to prevent accidents between aircraft of Russia and the US-led Coalition in the Syrian sky.

Anatoly Antonov stated that Americans were no just only to inform all the Coalition member-states about the agreement but to guarantee that all the members are to follow all terms of the document. The Russian party has a confirmation note from the US about the fact that Washington reached all formalities in relations with its partners.

 “However, Turkish military, who are formally included in the US-led Coalition, refused to confirm that they were committed to the Memorandum, and claimed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was competent at the issue. Moreover, Turkey blocked the “hotline” in its sole discretion without responding Russian urgent questions. Therefore, the Turkish Air Forces downed the Russian bomber aircraft and Russian military servicemen were killed.”

Anatoly Antonov stated that “a billow of NATO’s numerous efforts aimed to isolate Russia got split”.

 “General of the Army Valery Gerasimov talked to his US colleague twice. Russia met high-rank delegations from Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland. Representatives from other countries paid visits. However they ask not to display the contacts because of hails from Brussels,” said Anatoly Antonov.

As it was explained by Anatoly Antonov, Russia has held more than 1,250 international events with more than 80 states despite all difficulties. The Russian Federation has also signed 13 agreements on developing military cooperation, nine of which are signed with the CIS countries. There has been also created a legislative basis for interaction with defence departments of Argentina, Egypt, Iran and Cyprus.

According to him, relations in military field between Russia and NATO have been frozen by the Alliance initiative. Russia is facing a rough and uncompromising informational war. NATO is running to the absurd. Therefore, the Alliance is circulating a thesis about the necessity of being armed because Russia has reached NATO’s borders. Simultaneously with that, the Alliance continues military buildup near Russian borders.

The Deputy Defence Minister stated that all inspection groups had been met by Russia under the Vienna document in 2015. In respect to that Russian specialists have inspected military objects in Europe.

According to him, the Russian Defence Ministry aims to hold combat training with maximum transparency.

Anatoly Antonov explained that the Russian party was informing OSCE about holding unannounced inspections (that is not under Vienna document), large-scale exercises, and briefings for foreign military attaches on results of combat training. Russian party also held a briefing in Vienna on new redaction of the Russian new defence doctrine in the course of “Security Dialogue”. 

The Russian Defence Ministry considers, if the dialogue about armament control in Europe renews, the control mechanism principles must differ from those, which had been used in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. “Today, conventional armament has the same potential as nuclear weapons have.  A list of strategic systems is being expanded. “Simple counting of guns and tanks will not be useful,” stressed Anatoly Antonov.  

He noted that there was no “warming” in relations between Russia and NATO, there were no joint activities held with Brussels.  

He stressed that the Russian party insisted on the fact that cooperation renewal must not come with intensifying of military activity near Russian borders because this is the road to nowhere. This is a line leading to confrontation.

Anatoly Antonov dwelled on the issues concerning violating the Treaty on Open Skies by Turkey.

“Russia does not intend to leave without proper attention and response the violation of the Treaty by the Turkish party,” stated the Deputy Minister.

He reminded that several days ago the Turkish party refused the Russian inspectors to perform an observation flight on an An-30B aircraft over the territory of Turkey. The officials from Ankara were referring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of their country.

Anatoly Antonov explained that the route had included inspection of areas adjacent to the Syrian border as well as of the airfields with the NATO aviation concentrations.

He emphasized that that was not for the first time when the Turkish party had violated its international obligations.

Anatoly Antonov told that starting from February 2013, the Turkish authorities closed for observation positions of the Patriot air defence systems in the south of Turkey. In 2014, a Turkish escort group claimed that it had been impossible to provide flight safety in separate regions of the Turkish air space referring to intensive flights of military aviation involved in a counterterrorist operation. In October 2015, the Turkish party recommended “obligatorily delay” for a Russian observation mission – the Russian Defence Ministry met these wishes and rescheduled the flight. In December 2015, the Turkish party closed a part of its air space for the Russian aircraft along the Syrian border as well as the Diyarbakir airfield preliminarily approved for the purposes of the Treaty of Open Skies (now the base for NATO aviation).

Passing to the dialogue with the NATO, the Deputy Defence Minister noted that it was “possible only on an equal basis”.

He emphasized that “in future, during the dialogue with the NATO the Russian Defence Ministry will pay attention to the negative influence of the bloc on maintaining of the global and regional security”.

According to Anatoly Antonov, that means the installation of components of the US missile defence system in Europe, Asian-Pacific Region and in the Middle East, practical implementation of the concept of the “global strike”, deployment of strategic conventional precision weapons as well as prospects of deployment of weapons in space.

At the same time he noted that the Russian Defence Ministry favorably considered the declarations from Brussels concerning possible re-establishment of cooperation.

Anatoly Antonov stressed that it was important that it had been the result of rethinking of inferiority of approaches of the alliance to the relationships with Russia.

He noted that interaction was at first to be aimed at restoring confidence, reduction of military tension near the Russian borders.

Anatoly Antonov claimed that the readiness of the NATO to make constructive decisions could be welcomed, but if the Council Russia-NATO was to be used for increasing of pressure on the Russian party and widening of the information war, such ideas were unlikely to be implemented.

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