- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2016

Russia’s envoy to NATO vowed Wednesday a “totally asymmetrical” response if the alliance stands by plans to deploy new armored units to Eastern Europe.

The U.S. announced Wednesday “continuous troop rotations” in Eastern Europe starting in 2017, citing Russian “aggression.”

“We are not passive observers, we consistently take all the military measures we consider necessary in order to counterbalance this reinforced presence that is not justified by anything,” Moscow’s permanent representative at the alliance, Aleksandr Grushko, said in an interview with TV channel Russia-24, Russia Today reported. “Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically.”

Mr. Grushko did not specify what kind of response the Russian military would take, but said its actions would correspond to its “understanding of the extent of the military threat, would not be extremely expensive, but also highly effective.”

The Pentagon said Wednesday it wishes to reassure NATO allies and partners in the wake of an aggressive Russia in Eastern Europe.

It said the first rotational armored brigade combat team would arrive in Europe in February next year. Each brigade will be on a nine-month rotation and bring their own equipment to use for exercises across Europe.

NATO has also said it wants to enhance its military equipment in Europe and replace it with “the most modern the Army has to offer.”

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