Photo: Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters
The head of Germany’s BND Bruno KAHL stated that Russia has increased the presence of its troops on the Western borders. In his opinion, this presents a greater potential threat, he said in an interview with Der Spiegel
The head of the Federal intelligence service of Germany (BND, Bundesnachrichtendienstes) Bruno KAHL in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine saidthat Russia has significantly increased the presence of military forces on its Western borders.
“Russia had doubled the combat power on the Western border. It’s not just about “Iskander” systems. In the area of Crimea there are also plenty of aircraft and conventional military forces. This is not to say that Russia is a purely defensive shield against the West. This should be seen as a potential threat,” said Bruno KAHL.
The source also did not rule out that Russia may intervene in the parliamentary elections to be held in Germany in 2017. To a journalist’s question whether it is possible to expect such intervention by Moscow, he said, “we should at least reckon with the fact that it can happen. <…> In the past we witnessed this not only in Germany but also in other regions of Europe, where there is soon to be elections,” — said the head of German intelligence.
Earlier, on 9 March, the head of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel in an interview to “Interfax” was toldthat the German government “very carefully and with some concern” watching the transfer of Russian missile complexes “Iskander-M” in the Kaliningrad region.
In October 2016, the defense Ministry has sent several “Iskander-M” on the military base in Kaliningrad oblast. A former U.S. state Department spokesman John Kirby called the actions of Russia to destabilize European security. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov linked the deployment of “Iskander” in the Kaliningrad region with the creation in Europe “anti-missile system.”