Russia's prime minister accused NATO on Saturday of restarting the Cold War amid increased military maneuvers and troop deployments to countries neighboring Russia, moves the alliance's top official defended as a necessary response to aggression from Moscow, the AP reports. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting of top defense officials, diplomats, and national leaders that sanctions imposed after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and new moves by NATO "only aggravate" tensions. "NATO's policies related to Russia remain unfriendly and opaque—one could go so far as to say we have slid back to a new Cold War," Medvedev said. "On almost a daily basis, we're called one of the most terrible threats either to NATO as a whole, or Europe, or to the United States."
The comments came after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Munich Security Conference that "Russia's rhetoric, posture, and exercises of its nuclear forces are aimed at intimidating its neighbors, undermining trust and stability in Europe." Speaking after Medvedev, Secretary of State John Kerry fired back that Europe and the US would continue to "stand up to Russia's repeated aggression" and noted that in addition to a joint focus on Ukraine, Washington plans to quadruple spending to help European security. That will allow the US to maintain a division's worth of equipment in Europe and an additional combat brigade in Central and Eastern Europe. "Those who claim our trans-Atlantic partnership is unraveling—or those who hope it might unravel—could not be more wrong," Kerry said.