15:50 GMT31 July 2021
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    Military experts from Russia and Latvia discussed on Thursday security issues in the Baltics and steps to reduce tensions in the region, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The sides also agreed to continue security dialogue between military experts, according to the document.

    "During the consultations in Riga, the sides discussed current security situation in the Baltic region, as well as steps to reduce tensions and develop mutual trust and transparency in the defense sector," the ministry said in a statement.

    Since 2014, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, especially in Eastern European countries neighboring Russia, using Moscow's alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict as a pretext. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims and warned NATO that the military buildup on Russia's borders is provocative and threatens the existing strategic balance of power.

    During the last NATO summit in July, NATO resolved to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations. During the 2014 summit, NATO established a 5,000-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in response to the alleged Russian threat.



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    Latvia, Baltic Region, NATO, NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), military expert, security threat
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