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NATO Build-Up in Baltics Raises Doubts About Announced 'Reset' With Moscow

© AP Photo / Czarek SokolowskiSoldiers kneel down on the beach after an amphibious landing during NATO sea exercises BALTOPS 2015 that are to reassure the Baltic Sea region allies in the face of a resurgent Russia, in Ustka, Poland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Soldiers kneel down on the beach after an amphibious landing during NATO sea exercises BALTOPS 2015 that are to reassure the Baltic Sea region allies in the face of a resurgent Russia, in Ustka, Poland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - Sputnik International
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NATO adheres to a dual-track strategy towards Russia, planning to combine "deterrence" with a "political dialogue". However, the planned deployment of NATO battalions in Poland and the Baltic States has already caused negative reaction from the Kremlin, and raised doubts about NATO's intention to "reset" relations with Moscow, Der Spiegel wrote.

Two years after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, NATO is said to be willing to "reset" relations with Moscow, in order to prevent "dangerous incidents" and "to keep a chance for political dialogue to remain open."

"We discussed our relationship with Russia, and we agreed on a dual-track approach — defense and deterrence and political dialogue," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said recently.

However, NATO plans to deploy four military battalions in the Baltic States and Poland have not been met in Russia with much enthusiasm, the German magazine wrote.

"For Russia, the military build-up in the east is a provocation. President Vladimir Putin will not get tired of blaming NATO for ‘deliberate aggression' and breach of agreements with Russia amid the planned military presence in the Baltic States and Poland," the magazine wrote.

Soldiers of the US Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment deployed in Estonia as a part of the US military's Operation Atlantic Resolve, arrive during the Dragoon Ride exercise in Liepupe March 22, 2015. Operation Atlantic Resolve is aimed at demonstrating commitment to NATO allies in light of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, according to the US Army. - Sputnik International
Russia to Respond to New Configuration of NATO Forces - Envoy
In response to NATO's activities, Moscow announced the possibility to increase its troops on Russia's western borders. Russia will take the new configuration of NATO forces into account and will address the new security risks arising from the changing situation, Russia's envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said.

"That is the tense situation in which a new start of the dialogue with Moscow is set to take place," the magazine wrote.

However, despite all this, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted that negotiations with Moscow should not be broken off, but rather deepened.

"Even if it would not solve all the problems, a regular exchange of views is better than a dangerous silence between enemies," Steinmeier said.

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