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    There is already an increased presence of NATO maritime, land and air forces and meaningful military activity near its eastern borders, the alliance’s foreign ministers said in a joint statement Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, December 2 (Sputnik) — NATO is set to continue deploying forces in the eastern part of its territory, the alliance’s foreign ministers said in a joint statement Tuesday.

    "There is already an increased presence of NATO maritime, land and air forces and meaningful military activity in the eastern part of Alliance territory. All Allies are contributing to this defensive effort and they will continuously rotate air, maritime and land forces in the region and conduct additional exercises, 28 for 28, through 2015," the statement read.

    According to the ministers, these forces are "effectively responding to increased Russian military activity, including through monitoring Russian military flights and maintaining the integrity and safety of our airspace."

    Following the reunification of Crimea with Russia in March, NATO boosted its military presence in Poland and in the former Soviet Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

    Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the bloc's expansion in Eastern Europe and the current increase in its military presence close to Russian borders. In late September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called NATO expansion a "mistake" and a "provocation" that undermines the whole European security system.

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    Tags:
    NATO, military expansion, Ukraine, Russia
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