RS-24 Yars mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system (Photo Credit: Sergei Bobylev/Russian Defense Ministry Press Office/TASS)

Moscow does not rule out that NATO will stage provocations ahead of Russia’s Victory Day parade set for June 24, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview with TASS.

“We would like to hope that common sense will prevail but we cannot be absolutely sure given how NATO earlier planned its military activities to reach a peak by May 9,” he noted in response to a question.

According to Grushko, Moscow does not see that NATO is ready to abandon major military drills near the Russian borders in response to similar steps that Russia has taken in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Victory Day parade, which was initially scheduled for May 9, had to be postponed due to the pandemic and will be held on June 24. In early May, NATO conducted naval exercises in the Barents Sea. The Defender-Europe 20 Plus exercise kicked off in Poland on June 5.

Source: TASS, June 6, 2020