A Putin loyalist had some strong words of warning: “Tanks don’t need visas.” The militarist rhetoric was issued by Deputy Prime Minister and Kremlin hawk Dmitry Rogozin, who has been in charge of Russia’s Defense Industry since 2011. In March of 2014, President Obama placed Rogozin under executive sanctions. Canada and the European Union followed suit, barring Rogozin from entering their countries.
Writes AFP news, via DefenseNews.com: “An outspoken deputy prime minister in charge of Russia’s defense sector has dismissed Western concerns over Moscow’s increased assertiveness in the Arctic by saying that ‘tanks don’t need visas.’ Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defense ministry, is known for his hawkish remarks and enjoys rattling Western officials.”
Rogozin was speaking on state television, and was asked about the European and American concerns over Moscow’s increased military presence in the energy and mineral rich Arctic.
“I’ve always joked about it,” Rogozin said. “So what if they won’t give us visas, put us on sanctions list… tanks don’t need visas.”
Rogozin is known for his combative orations and inflammatory outbursts. Reports The Diplomat: “Dmitry Rogozin’s most recent comment on Russia’s ties with the West was published yesterday on his Twitter account: ‘It’s not Russia that threatens the West. Its foundations will crash down under the pressure of ISIS and gays.’”
Adds the AFP: “After being put on the blacklist last year he boasted that Russia’s defense sector has ‘many other ways of traveling the world besides tourist visas.’ Last May his plane was prevented from flying over EU member Romania, after which he wrote: ‘Next time I will fly in a Tu-160’ bomber, provoking protest from the Romanian foreign ministry who called it a ‘serious threat.’”
The heavy Arctic presence of troops and weaponries from Russia’s Defense Ministry – kicking off with air force maneuvers over the Ural mountains along with 12,000 foot soldiers – comes as NATO began their own dueling military exercises.
Writes the Inquisitr: “Rogozin, who also became one of the first seven persons who were put by President Obama under executive sanctions to freeze his assets in the U.S. and stop him entering the United States, has previously gone on record stating that the sale of Alaska was a ‘betrayal of Russian power status’ and that Russia should also have the ‘right to reclaim our lost colonies.’”
This latest flexing of military muscle is certain to escalate diplomatic tensions.
Russia has made no qualms about ownership rights of the Arctic – and its intension to exploit the Arctic’s mineral riches.
“It is our territory, it is our shelf, and we’ll provide its security. And we will make money there,” Rogozin asserted.
What do you think about Rogozin’s tank and visa smack talk?