Donald Rumsfeld vows friendship with Russia, orders to shift US forces closer to Russia's borders

A new problem may arise for Russia in connection with the new statement from the US administration

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld informed Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov about the Pentagon's plan to shift US army bases stationed in certain regions of the globe. According to Rumsfeld, several army bases will be shifted closer to Russian borders. Rumsfeld told reporters about it flying from Russia after talks with the Russian defense minister in St.Petersburg.

Decisions about it will be made during four, five, or six years. According to Rumsfeld, there will not be a large-scale shift conducted for US forces. The US Defense Secretary said the US administration would like to have its forces where they are needed, where the US government has adequate juridical agreements with foreign governments. The US administration wants to have more opportunities to use its troops, Rumsfeld said.

According to the US Defense Secretary, the impending shift of US forces around the globe will not complicate the relations between Washington and Moscow. The Pentagon's head said the relations between the two countries were developing normally. Rumsfeld added the Pentagon plans to reduce the strength of its forces stationed in northern Europe.

Europe-based American infantrymen serving in Germany will make up two-thirds of the withdrawn military men. Almost all of them will return to the USA to be stationed at various army bases. A part of American soldiers withdrawn from Germany and South Korea will be shifted to certain NATO members in East Europe.

It is noteworthy, a new problem may arise for Russia in connection with the new statement from the US administration about the redeployment of its forces. It is rumored the USA is ready to assist Georgia in the regulation of the South Ossetian conflict. The US administration already helps Georgia within the scope of the Training and Equipment program. The US government spent about $64 million on the implementation of the program in 2003. As a result, American military men have prepared six battalions of Georgian soldiers conforming to NATO standards. The fact of US peacemakers in the region will complicate Russia's uneasy stance in the conflict between Ossetia and Georgia.

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Author`s name Olga Savka