Some serious "sabre rattling" as a response to possible NATO expansion came from a very senior Russian officer, appearing in an article carried by Itar-Tass and brought to the west by Agence France Press on November 10, 2006.
"The pursuit of the NATO extension process close to Russia's borders cannot help but alarm us," said the head of Russia's air force General Vladimir Mihkailov to reporters.
"In such circumstances the political and military authorities in Russia take full note of the fact that military force has been and remains a traditional way of achieving political goals," said Mihkailov.
"We are at present witnessing the pursuit of the expansion of the presence of the United States and its allies in regions traditionally under," continued Mihkailov.
Agence France Presse explains, "Russia was angered by the entry into NATO, in March 2004, of the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) which were formerly part of the Soviet Union. Its neighbour Poland had joined in 1999.
Agence France Presse further explains, "In September NATO announced that a phase of 'intensified dialogue' with the Caucasian republic of Georgia had opened, possibly paving the way to some form of integration."
"Neighbouring Russia was greatly irritated though there is no guarantee that Georgia will in the end become a NATO member," said Agence France Presse.
Let's do a little math. Estonia — total population: 1,324,333; actual population of Estonians: 899,222. Latvia — total population: 2,274,735; actual population of Latvians: 1,312,522. Lithuania — total and close to actual population: 3,585,906. Georgia — total and close to actual population: 4,661,473. This versus Russia with a population of 143,893,540.
We must be supermen if Russians with such a huge population are fearful of our small numbers. Either that, or their top generals cannot count.
More Russian threats over NATO expansion (2)