Russia is working to develop within a few years the capability to threaten several neighbors at once on the scale of its present operation in Ukraine, a senior American general said.

Lieutenant-General Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, told Reuters an attack on another neighbor does not seem like an immediate threat because Moscow appears to have its hands full in Ukraine for now.

But that could change within a few years, when upgrades sought by President Vladimir Putin would give Russia the ability to carry out up to three such operations at the same time, without a mobilization that would give the West time to respond.

“Right now, without mobilizing, I don’t think they have the capacity to do three major things at one time. They can do one thing, I think, in a big way without mobilizing. But in four to five years, I think that will change,” Hodges said.

“Certainly within the next four to five years they will have the ability to conduct operations in eastern Ukraine and pressure the Baltics and pressure Georgia and do other things, without having to do a full mobilization.”

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