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​Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, nominee to head US European Command, speaks at his confirmation hearing on Thursday. Screenshot photo

​It is a “pivotal moment” in the US European Command area of responsibility, as Russia becomes increasingly aggressive and terror groups threatens countries throughout the European Union, the nominee to lead the command and serve as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of US Forces Korea, said the US military “should sail and fly wherever we are allowed to by international law,” and agreed with committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that the US should tell Russia it will take appropriate action if Russian forces “place the lives of our men and women on board Navy ships in danger.” Scaparrotti said he believes it’s important we are “strong, clear, and consistent” with the Russians, “and we should engage them and make clear what is acceptable operations of both of our forces in close proximity.” Once that is known, he said, “we have to enforce it.” The Russians are “pushing the envelope in terms of our resolve,” Scaparrotti said. “They’re pushing the envelope in terms of international norms and international law purposefully.”