NATO Expansion Since Putin's 2007 Munich Speech Pushed Russia to Edge - Peskov

© AFP 2023American Soldiers are seen during NATO Saber Strike military exercises on June 16, 2017 in Orzysz, Poland.
American Soldiers are seen during NATO Saber Strike military exercises on June 16, 2017 in Orzysz, Poland.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO's continued expansion in the years since Russian President Vladimir Putin warned it in 2007 against pushing toward his country's borders has driven Russia to the edge as far as its national and security interests go, the presidential spokesperson told Sputnik.
"The cumulative effect of this expansion has grown and festered, forcing Russia — to put it in the words of our president — to the edge of its red lines as far as national and security interests are concerned," Dmitry Peskov said.
Putin said at the Munich security conference that NATO sending battlegroups to eastern Europe "represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust." The deployment raised the question of whom this buildup was aimed at, he added.
Fifteen years on, this question still preoccupies Russian policy-makers, Peskov said during an interview timed to the anniversary of Putin's Munich speech. The spokesman said it had not been answered yet.
Peskov's comments came moments after it was confirmed that Putin would be holding a Saturday call with US President Joe Biden in light of the latest spate of escalations in the region.
Earlier Friday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan shot down US media reports that claimed the Russian president had greenlighted an invasion order that would deploy troops into neighboring Ukraine. However, the US official did continue to speculate on potential scenarios without offering an ounce of solid evidence to back such assertions.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan at a press conference on February 11, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.02.2022
Sullivan Dismisses Russian ‘Invasion Order’ Rumors But Still Won’t Support Impending Attack Claims
Russia has repeatedly shot down allegations that it intends to invade Ukraine ever since the US began airing said claims in late 2021. At the time and since then, the US and its allies have fallen in line with the belief that Russia's troop presence along the nation's border is a prelude to an invasion of Ukraine.
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