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Putin: NATO's Policy Towards Russia 'Confrontational'

© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyUkrainian helicopters fly over a Russian warship  during Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers, in the Black Sea, Friday, July 9, 2021
Ukrainian helicopters fly over a Russian warship  during Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers, in the Black Sea, Friday, July 9, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
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Moscow has repeatedly objected NATO's eastward expansion, and the issue was among the topics discussed by Russian President Putin and his US counterpart Biden during a virtual meeting on 7 December.
NATO's policy towards Russia is "confrontational," President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, adding that the bloc's eastward expansion is one of the most important security issues for his country.
"The structure [NATO] considers us, to put it mildly, unfriendly, and besides, it declares Russia its adversary. There is nothing good here, we are not striving for any confrontations with anyone, we hope that in this sense Greece will take such a position of containment," Putin told a press conference after his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Sochi.
Moscow assumes that all of its concerns about NATO's expansion will be heard, the Russian president went on to say.
Putin stressed that if Ukraine joins NATO, weapons that threaten Russia will be placed there.
"We cannot but be concerned about the prospect of Ukraine's possible admission to NATO, because this will undoubtedly be followed by the deployment of appropriate military contingents, bases and weapons that threaten us," Putin said.
He added that Moscow has been pursuing a peaceful foreign policy but has the right to defend its security in the medium and long-term.
Moscow calls on the US and its allies to start a dialogue on security guarantees and discuss ways to reduce military and political tensions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
FILE - In this April 12, 2021, file photo, Ukrainian soldier watches through a periscope at fighting positions near Donetsk, Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
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When asked to comment on the online talks he had with Biden on Tuesday, Putin said they were "open, substantive, and constructive."
The two presidents discussed a wide range of topics, including US' concerns about Russia’s alleged military build-up on the border with Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations that it is being aggressive, saying that it is not threatening anyone and does not intend to attack anyone. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Russia is moving troops within its own territory and at its discretion. He added that speculation in the media about Russia's alleged aggression is being used as a pretext to deploy more NATO military equipment close to Russia's borders.
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