03:30 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Encirclement Continues: NATO Pressuring Russia in the Black Sea

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    NATO is continuing its eastward expansion - this time to Romania - thus increasing the pressure on Russia and raising security concerns in the Moscow government, German newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) reported.

    In addition to the deployment of battalions in the Baltic States and Poland, NATO also seeks to exert pressure on Russia from the Black Sea, the newspaper wrote.

    NATO defense ministers are planning to meet on Tuesday to make a decision concerning the deployment of troops in Southeastern Europe, in particular in Romania, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

    According to the newspaper, "the purpose of the increased military presence in Romania is to cause nervousness in Moscow."

    Romania is located on the Black Sea and is only about 200 kilometers away from the Crimean peninsula which reunified with Russia in March 2014.
    Stoltenberg has not made any statements on the extent to which NATO forces will be active in Romania. Military details will be clarified later, he said in Brussels, but according to preliminary reports, the battalion is likely to include Romanian and Bulgarian soldiers.

    NATO's activities near Russian borders might signify the military alliance's plans to "quietly" surpass the NATO-Russia Founding Act, the newspaper argued.

    "It actually prohibits a permanent presence, which is why NATO wants to formally deploy battalions on a rotational basis," the article said. "Poland has been repeatedly stating that the NATO Founding Act is only a political document with no legally binding effect."

    NATO has been gradually building up its forces in Europe for over a decade, but has recently undertaken a huge increase in its presence in the Baltics and Eastern Europe. Russia has repeatedly stated that it views NATO's moves as a threat to its national security and promised to react in response if the military alliance doesn't stop its expansion.


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