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US combat vehicles parade near Russia border amid tensions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US combat vehicles parade near Russia's border in Narva, Estonia on February 24, 2015.

The United States has sent a number of combat vehicles to an Estonian city near the Russian border for military maneuvers in a move to show muscles to Moscow.

Amid the escalating tensions between the two powers, the armored personnel carriers and other US Army vehicles rolled through the streets of Narva on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

A group of American soldiers participated in the parade with 1,300 Estonian soldiers to mark the country’s Independence Day.

The border city of Narva that is separated by a river from Russia has a majority of ethnic Russian residents.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Moscow protests in mid-April 2014.

The United States accuses Russia of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Moscow, however, denies any involvement.

In November, US tanks paraded through the streets of Riga for Latvia’s Independence Day.

The US military has sent hundreds of troops to countries in the Baltics since the conflict began in Ukraine.

In an article over the weekend, former US congressman Ron Paul said last year’s incidents that overthrew the legally-elected government of Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych “was not only supported by US and EU governments -- much of it was actually planned by them.”

Pentagon chief warns President Putin

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, threatening Russian President Vladimir Putin with responses.

During his confirmation hearing, Carter told senators that the Pentagon has many options against Russia, including active defenses to counter intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missiles; counter-force capabilities to prevent intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missile attacks; and countervailing strike capabilities to enhance US or allied forces.

“US responses must make clear to Russia that if it does not return to compliance, our responses will make them less secure than they are today,” he said.

Washington says Moscow violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

However, Russia denied the allegation and said the testing of a ground-launched cruise missile in July 2014 was in compliance with the INF treaty.

Russia says the US missile plans across the globe are a real threat not only to Russia but also to the whole world, adding the missile systems harm the strategic balance of forces across the globe.


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