Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:36PM
A train moves cargo containers full of US ammunition at the port of Nordenham, in the Wesermarsch district Lower Saxony, Germany.
A train moves cargo containers full of US ammunition at the port of Nordenham, in the Wesermarsch district Lower Saxony, Germany.

The United States has sent more than 5,000 tons of ammunition to its army depot in Germany, a move aimed at increasing military activities in Europe.

The cargo, the largest single Europe-bound shipment in more than a decade, was sent to the American depot in Miesau, the US Army's largest munitions store outside the USA.

The freight contained a variety of small arms, combat vehicle ammunition, artillery rounds and similar munitions.

Russia has accused the Western powers of fighting "a new Cold War" after Moscow came under pressure from the US and NATO over its policy towards Syria and Ukraine.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday that NATO's stance on Russia remained "unfriendly and opaque."

"One could go so far as to say we have slid back to a new Cold War," he said, adding, "Sometimes, I wonder whether it is 2016 we are living in, or 1962."

US Colonel Matthew Redding said on Sunday that the American shipment will strengthen the NATO members.

"This critical shipment will help us continue to enable the NATO alliance," Redding told US military newspaper Stars and Stripes on Sunday. "The fact that it's the biggest single shipment in 10 years demonstrates our continued commitment to the defense of our allies."

This "allows US and NATO forces to quickly access ammunition and other supplies for short notice NATO operations," he added.

NATO forces will rely on the new stockpile during a US Army Europe training exercise in 2016 known as Anakonda, which will be held in Poland in June and will involve 20,000 multinational troops.

Anakonda, one of US Army Europe’s premier multinational training events, is a Polish national exercise that aims to train, exercise and integrate Polish national command and force structures into an allied, joint, multinational environment.

According to a new study published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday, the US has expanded its weapons business by increasing global arms sales amid rising imports by Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The study shows that the volume of international transfers of major weapons, including sales and donations, was 14 percent higher in 2011-2015 than over the five previous years, with the US and Russia doing most of the exporting.

The biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates.