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Deploying NATO Battalions in Baltic States Attempt to Blackmail Russia

© REUTERS / Ints KalninsPolish army soldiers take part in the "Saber Strike" NATO military exercise in Adazi, Latvia, June 13, 2016.
Polish army soldiers take part in the Saber Strike NATO military exercise in Adazi, Latvia, June 13, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The NATO decision to deploy battalions in the Baltic States is an attempt to blackmail Russia and to involve it in the arms race, deputy head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Security and Anti-Corruption Dmitry Gorovtsov said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that at the NATO summit in Warsaw that the alliance would strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations.

Soldiers demonstrate their skills during a military police exercise, ahead of the NATO summit in July in Warsaw (File) - Sputnik International
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"On the one hand, it is a wish to demonstrate the strength of NATO troops; on the other hand, that means nothing else but an attempt to blackmail our country and to involve our country in the arms race. In other words, a new round of the Cold War. We remember how it ended for the Soviet Union," Gorovtsov told RIA Novosti.

He added that Russia would take adequate counter measures in response to unfriendly NATO steps.

US troops land with parachutes at the military compound near Torun, central Poland, on June 7, 2016, as part of the NATO Anaconda-16 military exercise - Sputnik International
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"That is not the first statement and not the first attempt to boost NATO troops near the Russian borders. The statements that these steps allegedly do not jeopardize our country are the favorite US policy of double standards. There is no truth in that," the lawmaker said.

Since 2014, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, especially in Eastern European countries neighboring Russia, using Moscow’s alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict as a pretext. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims and warned NATO that the military buildup on Russia’s borders is provocative and threatens the existing strategic balance of power.

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