By Aaron Kesel
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the U.S. claim that Russia has developed a new cruise missile in violation of 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned land-based nuclear missiles in Europe during the Cold War. Putin added that Russia has advanced hypersonic weapons, surpassing the banned weapons by the treaty and wouldn’t need new missiles, Associated Press reported.
“No one has hypersonic weapons yet, but we have it,” he said.
The U.S. and NATO warned earlier this month it would suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days if Russia did not return to full compliance. The U.S. claims the 9M729 cruise missile breaches the INF treaty, Activist Post reported.
This comes after Russia ran a drill flying two of its nuclear-capable strategic Tu-160 bombers over the Caribbean Sea during a 10-hour training mission, WSBTV reported.
It’s also further worth noting that Putin recently stated that the threat of nuclear war should not be underestimated as tensions have risen between NATO countries and Russia within the past few months. Putin added that U.S. withdrawal from the treaty could spur “global catastrophe” and that he hopes “common sense will prevail.”
Russia appears to be making preparations for potential war. In April earlier this year a Russian state-owned television station warned that some Americans are preparing for a coming war with Moscow, explaining to the country’s residents how to stock their bunkers with water and basic necessities in case a war breaks out.
This is visibly seen by Russia’s suggesting that it will build bases on the Caribbean and build up its existing Arctic strongholds.
“We’ll finish building infrastructure in 2019 to accommodate air defense radar units and aviation guidance points on the Sredny and Wrangel Islands, and on Cape Schmidt” in the Russian Arctic, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said according to France 24.
The report noted that NATO held its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War near Russia’s Arctic border with Norway earlier this year.
As for the Caribbean, in combination with the socialist nation of Venezuela which also has sanctions against it by the U.S. government, Russia plans to build a base and a military presence presumably in response to the U.S. suggesting it will pull out of the INF treaty, in La Orchila, Venezuela according to TASS.
According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.
“It is the right idea to include Venezuela in long-range aviation missions,” military expert Colonel Shamil Gareyev told the newspaper, adding that it was also economically reasonable. “Our strategic bombers will not only not have to return to Russia every time, but also won’t perform aerial refueling while on a patrol mission in the Americas. Our Tu-160 aircraft arrive to their base in Venezuela, conduct flights, execute their missions and are then replaced on a rotating basis. This is how it should be done,” he said.
Colonel Eduard Rodyukov, a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Military Sciences, in turn, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that “the arrival of Russia’s Tu-160 strategic bombers to Central America is kind of a signal to Trump to make him realize that abandoning nuclear disarmament treaties will have a boomerang effect.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded stating the drills were a waste of public funds in an angry rant. “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”
Last month, Moscow rammed and shot at Ukrainian Navy ships allegedly for invading its territorial waters. The U.S., NATO and several countries condemned the action as an “act of aggression.”
As a result, the Ukrainian government decided to enact martial law in response in parts of the country, with Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko accusing Russia of having 80,000 troops, 1,400 artillery, and missile systems, 900 tanks, 2,300 armored vehicles, 500 planes and 300 helicopters stationed on its border in Crimea.
The proposition in question will remain in effect for 30 days until January 25th, and calls for partial mobilization of the Ukrainian military to defend the border and major government and industrial sites against potential further aggression. In other words, part of the country is under martial law.
This also comes after tensions have risen between the U.S. and China, an ally of Russia, with the U.S. involved in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei chief financial officer who was arrested in Canada and is now facing extradition to the United States.
To make matters worse, the U.S. may have just furthered that divide with the charging of two Chinese citizens — Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong — with damage to at least 45 U.S. tech companies and government agencies.
Prosecutors also directly accused the two of operating in agreement with the Chinese government.
“China will find it difficult to pretend that it is not responsible for this action,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press conference.
All of this comes amid trade negotiations with China, which may now fail. The Chinese have until March 1st, according to Trump; if there is no deal at the end of the 90 days, the U.S. will then proceed to raise tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to an astoundingly wild 25 percent.
Right now it’s just the potential for a trade war, but things could escalate well past economic sanctions; and Beijing’s state media has previously warned any attempt to prevent China accessing its interests in the region of the South China Sea could risk sparking a “large-scale war.”
Last week, Activist Post reported that “the Trump administration planned to escalate the U.S. trade war with China for its alleged involvement stealing American trade secrets and technology and hacking into government and corporate computers.” A serious accusation to make combined with the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, and Trump stating he could intervene, which looks to be like a form of blackmail since his administration was responsible.
Less than 6 months ago in September Russia held its annual fall military exercises, Vostok-2018, in collaboration with China.
The two countries joined together for various drills, with 300,000 troops, 1,000 aircraft, 36,000 combat vehicles and as many as 80 ships that were involved, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry. While China had a lesser number of troops on the ground estimated at 3,000 soldiers along with aircraft and helicopters.
The drills took place across five different training areas, as well as the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, and were seen as the largest drills in decades, NPR reported.
Those war drums keep beating louder and louder with no signs of slowing down the growing rhythm between the three superpower nations, which if we aren’t careful could lead to a “global catastrophe.”
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.