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    Polish Army soldiers check their tank after the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, Thursday, June 18, 2015

    NATO to Open Counterintelligence Center in Poland by Year-End

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    NATO will open expert and training center for intelligence and counter-terrorism activities in Krakow, Poland by the end of 2015, German media reported Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, from 40 to 70 soldiers will be stationed in the center, including those sent by the German Defense Ministry.

    NATO earlier opened its command centers — the integration units designed to facilitate the deployment of alliance's forces in the region and coordinate the teaching if necessary — in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. About 40 officers will work in each command unit.

    Russia's permanent representative to NATO Alexander Grushko has stated that the opening of NATO centers in six Eastern European countries will fuel an artificial atmosphere of confrontation with Russia.

    NATO-Russia relations deteriorated sharply in 2014, following Crimea's reunification with Russia and the beginning of an internal conflict in eastern Ukraine. The alliance accused Russia of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict and started reinforcing its presence in Eastern Europe, in response to what it considers Moscow's aggressive foreign policy.

    Russia has repeatedly dismissed Ukraine-related accusations and stated that NATO's increased activities near the country's borders undermine regional and global stability.

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    NATO, Poland, military, Russia
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