Moscow: What did NATO defend against in Serbia and Libya?
The Russian Defense Ministry was "surprised" by the German defense minister's insistence on Russia reporting about the movements and the number of its troops.Source: Sputnik
"Moscow is informing its European partners about all snap drills and large-scale exercises for two years," said the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Sputnik reported.
According to German media Ursula von der Leyen said NATO and Russia should publicly report on the movements and the number of its troops within the framework of the OSCE, and that the initiative has long been promoted by NATO. She also referred to NATO as "a defensive organization."
"The German defense minister's statements have surprised us. She is possibly unaware that we have, at our initiative, been informing our European partners about all snap drills and large-scale exercises for two years, which is something we are not obliged to do under the Vienna Convention," Konashenkov said.
As for the defensive nature of the Western military alliance, the Russian general spoke about NATO's "dramatic campaigns in Yugoslavia (i.e., Serbia, then a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) and Libya."
"Will Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen be able to explain to the world how selflessly the alliance defended itself without sparing ammunition," he said.
In 1999, NATO carried out its military operation against Yugoslavia in violation of the UN Charter. According to Serbian authorities some 2,500 people died during the bombing.
In Libya, NATO carried out airstrikes against the regime of Moamer Gaddafi, that aggravated the consequences of an armed uprising. After Gaddafi was killed, the country descended into a civil war that resulted in a dual regime.