00:27 GMT04 August 2020
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

    It is time for NATO to switch from confrontational rhetoric to cooperation with Moscow, a Russian security official opined.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — NATO should give up its confrontational rhetoric toward Russia and focus on countering common threats, Russia's Security Council Assistant Secretary Alexander Venediktov said Tuesday.

    "The time has come to switch from confrontational rhetoric to systematic treatment of mutual concerns in the field of security," Venediktov told Russian Argumenty i Fakty newspaper in an interview.

    The official added the it was senseless to connect the need to increase military spending with the alleged threat emanating from Russia.

    Relations between NATO and Russia have deteriorated since 2014 against the background of the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea's reunification with Russia. During this time, NATO decided to suspend projects of practical civilian and military cooperation with Moscow, but maintained channels of political dialogue. Since the beginning of Ukrainian crisis, the organization has also been boosting its military presence in Eastern Europe. During July 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw, allies agreed to deploy four multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of involvement in Ukraine, as they are not supported by factual evidence. Russia has also warned that amassing troops and military equipment on its borders is a provocation, violates past NATO pledges, and can lead to regional and global destabilization.

    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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