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'Tanks Don't Need Visas,' Russia Warns as Big War Games Start

Image: 'Tanks Don't Need Visas,' Russia Warns as Big War Games Start
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By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:08 AM

"Tanks don't need visas," Russia's deputy prime minister reminded western nations in an assertive weekend interview timed with the start of a massive military exercise.

Dmitry Rogozin was reacting to a question about visa bans by the U.S. and European countries being imposed on him and other Russia politicians and business leaders connected with the Ukraine dilemma, when he quipped "tanks don't need visas," according to The Telegraph.

Reuters and AFP reported that Russia's Defense Ministry kicked off air force exercises in the Ural mountains and western Siberia involving 12,000 soldiers and 250 aircraft. The maneuvers are meant to prepare for a larger drill in September, called Tsentr-2015.

NATO began a dueling military exercise with Germany, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and the U.S. gathering in the Artic for two weeks of maneuvers.

After Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014, Russia has held numerous large-scale military drills checking combat readiness.

In a statement on its website, the ministry described the drill as a "massive surprise inspection," to check combat readiness and develop a command system in field conditions.

"Long-range aviation aircraft will carry out cruise missile strikes against a mock enemy's ground targets at the Pemboi test and training area (in the Komi Republic)," said a ministry spokesperson.

On Sunday, Rogozin posted a message on Twitter that Russia is not a threat to the West, which is facing "collapse under the onslaught of ISIS and gays."

Tensions between the West and Russia seemed to increase Monday when Germany complained about Moscow denying a German lawmaker into Russia because of the Ukrainian crisis, reported The Guardian.

Karl-Georg Wellmann, who had charged Russia with being a "warmonger" earlier this year for his alleged support for Ukrainian separatist and called for stronger sanctions against it, was left stranded at a Moscow airport Sunday and forced to return home after being told by Russian officials he was not welcomed, wrote The Guardian.

Wellmann is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats party, according to The Guardian, and head of the German-Ukraine parliamentary group. Wellmann said that he was told, per The Guardian, that he could not enter Russian until 2019, but given no explanation for the reason.

"I wasn't planning to meet any opposition leaders or demonstrators," Wellmann said, according to The Guardian. "Evidently I was stopped by certain powers."

Germany protested to the Russian ambassador in Berlin and Germany's ambassador in Moscow about Wellmann's treatment, reported The Guardian.

"From the German government's point of view Russia’s refusal to allow … Wellmann's entry is incomprehensible and unacceptable," a German foreign ministry spokesman told The Guardian. "Germany expects the refusal to allow him in to be lifted."


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"Tanks don't need visas," Russia's deputy prime minister reminded western nations in an assertive weekend interview timed with the start of a massive military exercise.
tanks, visas, russia, warns, war games, start
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2015-08-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:08 AM
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