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    Estonian soldiers take part in an annual military exercise together with several units from other NATO member states on May 18, 2014 near Voru close to the Estonian-Russian border in South Estonia

    Moscow Keeps Eye on NATO's Moves in East Europe

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)
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    Russia is keeping watch over NATO's policies in Eastern Europe as they may violate the fundamental Russia-NATO Act.

    MOSCOW, April 17 (Sputnik) – Moscow is following NATO’s policies in Eastern Europe to make sure the Alliance is not taking any steps that would breach the fundamental Russia-NATO Act, Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Mikhail Ulyanov told RIA Novosti on Friday.

    The 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and Russia stipulates that the bloc will not station substantial combat forces near the Russian border permanently.

    “It should be said that we are carefully following what is happening in the policies of NATO on its so-called eastern flank,” Ulyanov said.

    The official said that NATO frequently uses terms similar to those used during war times, including “frontal states.”

    “We are currently watching closely for signs the Alliance isn’t doing anything in the territories of its eastern member states that would breach its obligations [in the Russia-NATO Act],” he added.

    Earlier in April, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the bloc was undergoing its largest troop increase since the end of the Cold War.

    Members of US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment ride on an armored vehicle during the ''Dragoon Ride'' military exercise in Salociai some 178 kms (110 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, March 23, 2015
    © AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis
    In February, NATO said that its Response Force, stationed close to Russia in Eastern Europe, will more than double to 30,000 military personnel.

    The nearly year-long conflict in southeast Ukraine has served as a justification for NATO expansion in Eastern Europe. The military bloc, along with its political and economic counterparts, claims Moscow is involved in the ongoing fighting. Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the confrontation between Kiev and Donbass.

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

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    NATO, Russia-NATO Founding Act, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia
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