Russia is sending troops to several regions and sees the U.S. and NATO as long-term threats, said NATO’s military commander Tuesday.
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove spoke to a panel of the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C.
He said Russia has used its military against neighbors to gain regional influence.
“Russia has used military force to violate the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Georgia and others, like Moldova,” the general told the committee.
Breedlove said Russia has kept Ukraine from moving closer to the West.
Breedlove noted one of Russia’s objectives is to hurt the relationship between the U.S. and its NATO allies.
Russia worries that its neighbor countries increases military power. In the past two years, Russia has deployed two brigades “Iskander” tactical missiles systems in the border with China. “Iskander” tactical missiles system showed outside of Moscow
The Air Force general added that Russia’s military influence has spread from the Black Sea to the eastern Mediterranean Sea and western Syria.
“Russia seeks to re-establish a leading role on the world stage. … Russia sees the U.S. and NATO as threats to its objectives and as constraints on its aspirations. Russia recognizes strength and sees weakness as an opportunity,” Breedlove told the Senate committee.
Breedlove said Russia has done little to counter the Islamic State militant group in Syria. Russia started air strikes against rebel positions in Syria in September 2015, according to multiple media sources.
I’m Jim Dresbach.
Isabela Cocoli wrote this story for VOA News. Jim Dresbach adapted her report for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
NATO – n. short for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; a group of countries that have agreed to provide military support to each other.
sovereignty – n. a country's independent authority and the right to govern itself
objective – n. something you are trying to do or achieve : a goal or purpose
aspiration – n. something that a person or group wants very much to achieve