“Ground-, sea-based and air forces of the alliance have stepped up their activities in Poland, the Baltic region and in the Black and Baltic seas,” he said. “Military exercises and drills explained by contrived fairy tales of ‘threat from the east’ have also intensified.”
"Military exercises and drills explained by contrived fairy tales of ‘threat from the east’ have also intensified," he added.
Relations between Russia and NATO have deteriorated in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, as the alliance has accused Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, a claim Russia has repeatedly denied.
Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March, NATO boosted its military presence in Poland and in the former Soviet Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In April, the alliance ceased all practical cooperation with Russia, limiting contact to ambassadorial and higher levels.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the bloc's expansion in Eastern Europe. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has on several occasions described NATO expansion as a mistake that undermines European stability.
West Directly Involved in Overthrowing Legitimate Governments
The leadership of western countries are directly involved in overthrowing legitimate governments in a number of countries and calls for concern, Russian General Staff head Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.
"Throughout the year there were continued attempts of interference in the domestic affairs of a number of sovereign states using the so-called color revolution format," Gerasimov said during a meeting with military attaches from several countries.
According to the Russian Army general's assessment, "public interest and direct involvement of the political leadership of leading western countries in overthrowing the legitimate state power by using any method cannot but call for our serious concern."
Earlier in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly that the United States always "directly or from behind the scenes" affects Russia's relations with neighbors, adding that "sometimes it is unclear who to talk to: to the authorities of the country or directly to their US patrons."
On February 22, there was a change of government in Ukraine, the legitimacy of which residents of the southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize. The situation in Ukraine escalated when Kiev launched a military operation in the southeast of the country.
Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the United States has shown support to the new government in Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeatedly stated that the US authorities are not helping to resolve the Ukrainian crisis but only fuel it by pushing Kiev toward further confrontation with southeastern regions.