Russia cuts off talks after latest sanctions

Moscow, Russia. The Defense minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu-has come out with a statement that condemns the hostile recent actions of the United States and NATO as the summer of 2017 changes from warm, to now red hot.

The Russian Federation Defense Minister said Wednesday that the security situation near the nation’s western borders had worsened because of NATO’s activities, and that Russia would be adjusting its defense posture in response.

Sergei Shoigu, speaking Wednesday on a trip to Russia’s Kaliningrad region, pointed at the alliance’s exercise in the Baltics as an example of NATO’s growing aggressive presence in the area.

In a News Front interview, Shoigu added that large-scale drills in Eastern Europe reflect NATO’s “anti-Russian course.” Shoigu added that the military would form 20 new units along its western frontiers by the year’s end. Later this year, Russia and Belarus will hold the West-2017 war games, exercises that U.S. officials have said could be made a much larger show of force by Moscow than in recent years.

Of utmost urgency was the announcement by Russia’s deputy foreign minister, who said he had cancelled upcoming talks with the US undersecretary of state over a new round of American sanctions against Russia. The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it had imposed sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and firms over Russia’s activities in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday quoted Deputy Minister Sergey Ryabkov as saying that “the situation is not conducive to holding a round of this dialogue” that was scheduled for Friday and criticized the Americans for “not having offered and not offering anything specific” to discuss.

At best, Russian-US relations have remained tense even as the White House considers scheduling President Donald Trump’s meeting with Putin on the sidelines of next month’s Group of 20 meeting.