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    Units from NATO allied countries take part in the NATO Noble Jump 2015 exercises, part of testing and refinement of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in Swietoszow, Poland June 18, 2015.

    NATO Should Decrease Intensity of Rhetoric With Moscow - Russian Official

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

    Moscow is ready to develop mutually beneficial international cooperation, Russia's deputy defense minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – NATO should ease its intensity of rhetoric in communications with Russia and not attach labels, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday.

    “The intensity of rhetoric should be decreased. Unnecessary labels should not be attached to us. The only thing we want to say is that the Russian Defense Ministry is ready to develop mutually beneficial international cooperation,” Antonov told journalists.

    Moreover, NATO did not send representatives to the Army Games-2015 international contest, claiming the decision was political.

    The Russian Defense Ministry previously stated, it hoped the United States and other NATO members would take part in the Army Games, organized by Moscow for the first time this year. Some 15 non-NATO countries are expected to take part in 13 military contests.

    "We have invited NATO member states to come to visit us but they refused due to a number of political problems, as they explained," Anatoly Antonov told journalists.

    The deputy minister noted that a visit by NATO representatives would improve bilateral relations between Russia and the alliance.

    According to Antonov, Moscow is ready for a dialogue with NATO as "it is time to stop looking at each other through the tank sight."

    Antonov said he would meet with US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft later in the day.

    "Today I will have a meeting with the American ambassador," Antonov told journalists.

    The official added that one of the first questions he was planning to ask Tefft was why there were no United States representatives at the press conference.

    Antonov did not reveal additional topics for his discussion with the US ambassador.

    The International Army Games, organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, will be held in various locations in Russia August 1-15. The competition will gather 57 teams from 17 countries.

    NATO responded to the reunification of Crimea with Russia in March 2014 by amplifying its military posture along its borders with Russia. The West has accused Russia of aggression towards its neighbors and threatening NATO states.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations and warned the weapons build-up and military exercises on its borders are provocative and can destabilize the region.

    In June 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow remains open to cooperating with its neighbors, and has no aggressive plans.

    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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    NATO, Army Games-2015, Russian Defense Ministry, John Tefft, Anatoly Antonov, Russia
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