09:56 GMT17 June 2021
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

    The NATO Anaconda 2016 military exercises, currently taking place in Poland, do not pose threat to anyone, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Polish president, the NATO drills in Poland are aimed at demonstrating primarily to Russia the country's and alliance's strength and readiness to protect the borders.

    "The exercises don't threaten anyone, and are strictly defensive," Duda said.

    "Russia is our neighbor and a difficult partner, which shows in recent years very strong imperial ambitions. Unfortunately, we have seen it in Ukraine, in Crimea <…> In the situation of such provocative actions only the demonstration of strength and unity and the collective defense ability will enable a true partnership dialogue," Duda said.

    NATO has been reinforcing its military presence in Europe, particularly in the Eastern European states, since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, citing Russia's alleged interference in the conflict as a justification for the move. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, calling NATO's military buildup near Russia’s borders provocative.

    Anaconda 2016, one of the largest military drills held in Poland over 25 years, began on June 6 and will last until June 17. It involves troops from over 20 NATO member states, bringing together some 31,000 servicemen, 100 aircraft, 12 vessels and 3,000 vehicles.

    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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    NATO buildup, Anakonda 2016, Andrzej Duda, Poland, Russia
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