Russia occupies the honorable first place in the list of threats that the West considers quite relevant.

This means that the Russian armed forces are capable of committing an act of military aggression against border states.

Threatened should be considered the countries with whose representatives German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier met on Thursday in Berlin.

His interlocutors were the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In fact, it is these republics that most often portray the extreme degree of confusion and fear due to the danger that allegedly emanates from Russia.

The Baltic states managed to convince the North Atlantic Alliance of the reality of Moscow's aggressive intentions, and due to this they became its members back in 2004.

Steinmeier in Germany is considered to be a politician advocating good-neighborly relations and dialogue with Russia. However, this time the German leader seems to have changed his role. During the meeting, he expressed concern about military tensions on the eastern flank of NATO and assured the Baltic states of the alliance's solidarity. “Not a day goes by without Russian military aircraft taking off over the Baltic Sea. More and more often they violate the airspace of your states, ”Steinmeier said.

According to him, the situation has become extremely threatening. The risk of incidents since the "illegal annexation" of Crimea and Donbass and the pulling of Russian troops to the Ukrainian border has become as serious as it has not been for a long time. Nevertheless, the interlocutors of the German President have nothing to fear, since the guarantee of their safety is the military-political bloc of Western countries. “You are not alone in this situation. Whoever threatens the Baltic states, he threatens the whole of NATO, he threatens Germany, "Steinmeier reassured the Baltic states, pointing out that the Bundeswehr leads the NATO contingent in Lithuania, and the German air force, in rotation with other alliance partners, is protecting the airspace over the Baltic Sea. And the potential target of Russian aggression, Steinmeier believes, is all of Europe.

It is curious that all these statements are a transcript of the words of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who had said a day earlier that NATO countries have long been intensifying their military activity on the territory of the new members of the alliance near the borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

Meanwhile, Moscow has made it clear to the West that the use of force, to put it mildly, does not bode well.

From 10 to 16 September, the open phase of the Zapad-2021 military exercises took place at five Belarusian training grounds and nine Russian training grounds.

Legend - an attack on Belarus.

It is based on the scenario of "a crisis situation of escalating conflict associated with the activity of illegal armed groups, separatist and international terrorist organizations with external support."

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that about 200 thousand military personnel took part in the West-2021 exercises, up to 760 pieces of equipment: almost 300 tanks and more than 80 aircraft and helicopters, 15 ships. For comparison: in 2017, only 12,700 military personnel were involved in similar joint exercises.

Russia emphasizes that the maneuvers were of an exclusively defensive nature, but it must be borne in mind that, within the framework of an active defense strategy, offensive operations can also be carried out, if the situation so requires. In Belarus, for example, during the exercises, the 76th Airborne Assault Division was used, which practiced the capture of objects and actions in a large city. In addition, air strikes against strategic targets were practiced. The experience of the action to force Georgia to peace in August 2008 demonstrates that the ultimate goal is to encircle and defeat the enemy.

Conflict potential in relations between the West and Russia is growing noticeably. The European Union threatens not to recognize the results of the Russian elections; the peacekeeper Steinmeier suddenly turns into an uncompromising hawk. However, there is still no reason to talk about the likelihood of an extreme aggravation of contradictions and, as a consequence, military confrontation. By default, the countries possessing nuclear weapons will shy away from a direct confrontation to the last, since the third world war is a guaranteed mutual destruction of its participants with a very small number of survivors. Therefore, statements about a threat emanating from Russia and military exercises are all preventive measures of the parties, whose task is not to bring the conflict closer, but to warn a potential adversary about its inadmissibility. And Russia with its arguments in this absentee dispute looks much more convincing.

The point of view of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.