18:05 GMT +318 November 2018
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    NATO troops at a range in Estonia participating in the Saber Strike-2016 exercises, June 2016.

    Moscow: Russia-NATO Ties Won’t Normalize Until Bloc Drops Confrontational Policy

    © Sputnik / Sergey Stepanov
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    Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that NATO’s military activity near Russia's borders has reached a level not seen since the Cold War.

    If NATO doesn't put an end to confrontation, a return to normal relations between the alliance and Russia is impossible, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said.

    READ MORE: ‘A New Cold War Is Possible': 50,000-Troop NATO Exercises a Warning to Russia

    "Today it's obvious to us that if we return to the Russia-NATO relationship, there can be no restoration of normality unless NATO drops its current line of confrontation," Grushko said.

    The Russian Permanent Mission to NATO confirmed Monday that the next Russia-NATO Council session at the level of ambassadors would take place on October 31.

    "We confirm that a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council will be held on October 31. During the meeting, it is planned to discuss issues of defense security and prevention of dangerous incidents to de-escalate military and political tensions, as well as other relevant issues of European security," the mission said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.

    NATO Expansion in Eastern Europe

    NATO has been significantly expanding its presence in Eastern Europe after the outburst of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 using alleged Russian interference in the Ukrainian internal activities as a pretext.

    Moscow has repeatedly stated, in connection with the increased presence of the NATO armed forces at its borders, that it would not disregard actions potentially dangerous to its interests.

    Moscow has many times asserted its protests against the NATO military buildup stating that this move will undermine regional balance and result in a new arms race.

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    NATO military presence, confrontation, NATO
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