From the northern tip of the Baltics to the southern edge of the Balkans, Russia is stepping up spying on its neighbors, according to numerous reports from the region.
The most recent notice of such activity comes from Estonia, whose intelligence service’s annual report says the “Baltic Sea area is especially vulnerable to threats from Russia.”
According to Estonia’s national intelligence service, Russia, acting through its military intelligence agency, the GRU, and its Federal Security Service, or FSB, has taken a special interest in the foreign and security policies, defense planning, armed forces, arms development, and military capabilities of its neighbors.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has arrived in Brussels to attend a March 31 NATO meeting that was rescheduled to allow him to attend.
A senior State Department official told reporters that Tillerson will push alliance members to increase their defense spending and will work with allies to press Russia to abide by the Minsk agreement to end the crisis in Ukraine.
US President Donald Trump unleashed a diatribe against Germany on Saturday, saying Berlin owes NATO “vast sums of money” and must pay the United States more for security.
His latest tweetstorm comes a day after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington, where the two leaders showed little common ground over a host of thorny issues, including NATO and defense spending.
“Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.
He prefaced his statement by lashing out at the news media. “Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS,” he tweeted, “I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
British troops began a long-term deployment to Estonia on Saturday as Germany’s intelligence chief warned Russia had doubled its military presence on its Western border.
An advanced contingent of 120 British soldiers landed at Estonia’s Amari airbase late on Friday night as part of a new Nato deployment designed to deter Russia from attempting a repeat of its invasions of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in the Baltic.
Eight hundred British troops with Challenger 2 tanks, AS90 self-propelled guns, and Warrior armoured vehicles, will be based in the town of Tapa, 80 miles from the Russian border, from next month.
A British Army AS90 self propelled gun arrives in the port of Emden, Germany to be loaded and transported to Estonia Credit: Dominic King/Army press office Germany
The paratroopers are an elite unit of the Russian military, with great significance in the Ukraine conflict.
Russia has appointed the man accused of presiding over operations that led to the annexation of part of Ukraine as the commander of the its infamous airborne forces (VDV), the Ministry of Defense announced on Monday.
Buy a Subscription of Fahion | Home and Garden | Lifestyle | Music | Fitness and Health | Technology | News and Business | Travel | Sports | Magazines from the world’s largest online Magazine cafe store in USA
My observations as an artistic, writer, blogger, computer geek, humanist, mental health activist, lifelong learning and researcher of life living with lifelong severe depression, anxiety, social anxiety with agoraphobia, PTSD, A Nervous Breakdown, as well as a Survivor of Sexual Abuse and Rape.