Russia wants to divide NATO, European blocs: US general

Gen. Breedlove suggests supplying arms to Ukraine will force Russia to negotiate

Baku. 1 May. REPORT.AZ/ Supplying offensive weapons to Ukraine should be used as an option to curb Russian actions that threaten Europe’s security, the top commander for U.S. forces in Europe said Thursday.

“Mr. Putin and his forces have taken and used every tool to their great advantage including the military tool,” said Gen. Philip Breedlove. “I support the consideration of using offensive weapons to change the decision calculus on the ground and to facilitate bringing our opponent to the table.”

Report informs referring to the foreign media, Breedlove’s comments came as he briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on the European Command’s program and 2016 budget.

“Russia is blatantly challenging the rules and principles that have been the bedrock of European security for decades,” he said. “This is global. It's not regional, and it is enduring, not temporary.”

Russia’s motivation is not only limited to dismembering Ukraine, he said, but Russia wants to divide the European Union NATO as a economic and military blocs.

Russia has supported separatists in eastern Ukraine since the armed conflict began in early 2014.

The U.S. and European powers have a placed series of sanctions on Russia for its destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine and for annexing the Crimean peninsula last March.

Breedlove said the Russians would be provoked by any U.S. action and suggested that it would not make sense to remove any option from the table.

The commander also defended Turkey as a key NATO ally against a committee member's criticism of Turkey for not doing enough to stop the flow of foreign fighters through it borders on their way to fight alongside Daesh.

The flow of fighters is a problem for all of Europe, the general said, but it’s an immediate problem for Turkey as the conflict is taking place along its border while Turkey faces the direct effect from the conflict.

“I would not single out Turkey. I think that the flows are in several areas,” he said, adding that Turkey has taken several steps to crack down on the flow of foreign fighters across the country.

More than 15,000 foreign fighters from different countries have reportedly joined Daesh.

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