A top Russian official warned on Monday that President Joe Biden and the United States should prepare to be sent “uncomfortable” signals from Moscow in the coming days ahead of the scheduled summit between the U.S. and Russia.
The remarks came after Biden said on Sunday that he would press Putin on the issue of human rights, saying he would be “making it clear [the U.S.] will not stand by and let [Putin] abuse those rights.”
Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said, “The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow … will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days.”
Ryabkov’s comments come at the same time that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that Russia would be forming 20 new military units in the western part of the nation to counter what he claimed was a growing threat from NATO.
The Associated Press reports:
Sergei Shoigu made the announcement at a meeting with top military officials. He pointed to a growing number of flights by U.S. strategic bombers near Russia’s borders, deployments of NATO warships and increasingly frequent and major drills by alliance forces.
“The actions of our Western colleagues are destroying the world’s security system and force us to take adequate countermeasures,” Shoigu said. “Around 20 military formations and units will be formed in the Western Military District by the end of the year.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg responded to the remarks by Shoigu by saying that “NATO is a defensive alliance” that exists to “protect and defend our allies.”
“What you see is a pattern of Russian behavior, where Russia over the last years have invested heavily in new modern military capabilities from conventional to nuclear weapon systems,” Stoltenberg said. “But not only that but Russia has been willing to use military force against neighbors — in Georgia, in Ukraine,” he said, noting that Russia has increased its military presence in areas near Europe.
“This is one of the main reasons why NATO, in the last years, have increased readiness of our forces and also why we have deployed battletroops to the eastern part of our alliance,” he added.
The remarks out of Russia come after the editor of a top Chinese state-run newspaper recently warned that China needed to be prepared for nuclear war against the United States after Biden announced that he ordered the U.S. Intelligence Community to redouble their efforts in investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Given the intensifying US strategic containment of China, I would like to remind once again that we have many urgent tasks, but one of the most important is to keep rapidly increasing the number of nuclear warheads and strategic missiles like the Dongfeng 41 with extremely long-range and high survival capabilities,” Global Times editor Hu Xijin wrote in a post translated by Chinese human rights activist Jennifer Zeng. “This is the cornerstone of China’s strategic resilience against the United States.”
“We must be prepared for a high-intensity showdown between the US and China, at which point a large number of DF-41 and JL-2 and JL-3 will be the backbone of our strategic will. Our nuclear missiles must be so numerous that the US elite will tremble at the thought of military confrontation with China at that time,” Hu continued. “On such a basis, we can calmly and actively manage our differences with the US and avoid all kinds of gunfire. As US hostility toward China continues to burn, we need to use our strength and the unbearable risks they would face if they took the risk to force them to remain calm.”