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    No Links Between Russian Drills, NATO Buildup in E Europe - Kremlin

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    The snap inspection of the combat readiness of Russia's Northern Fleet as well as units of the Western, Southern and Eastern Military Districts began on March 16 and ended on Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Recent snap combat readiness drills in Russia were part of a regular training cycle of the Russian Armed Forces and they have no link to increased NATO military activity in eastern Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

    "It is all part of the development of Russia's military potential, the strengthening of the country's defense capability as well as routine training process in the Russian Armed Forces," Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

    The snap inspection of the combat readiness of Russia's Northern Fleet as well as units of the Western, Southern and Eastern Military Districts began on March 16 and ended on Saturday.

    "Unannounced inspections, as we know, have been carried out for months… For years, I would even say," Peskov said.

    Over the past year NATO has boosted its presence near Russian borders. Last month, the alliance announced that six new command posts would be created in NATO states close to Russia, and its Rapid Response Force would be more than doubled to include some 30,000 military personnel.


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