NATO sees Russian buildup ahead of wargames with China

August 29, 2018 GMT

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO says major military exercises between Russia and China next month demonstrate that Moscow continues to focus on large-scale conflict.

Acting Deputy Spokesman Dylan White said Wednesday that Vostok 2018, billed as the biggest war games since the Cold War, “demonstrates Russia’s focus on exercising large-scale conflict.”

The exercises in central and eastern Russia will involve about 300,000 Russian troops. China’s state Xinhua news agency has reported China plans to send 3,200 troops and about 900 weapons units.

White said they fit a pattern revealing “a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defense budget and its military presence.”

NATO is weighing Moscow’s invitation to send observers to the Sept. 11-15 war games.