23:04 GMT11 August 2020
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

    NATO is trying to justify its military buildup near Russia's border by means of far-fetched pretexts, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) cloaks the deployment of its infrastructure near Russian borders behind far-fetched pretexts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Belarusian media Friday.

    "All these preparations that are now being implemented in practice, when NATO infrastructure approaches our common borders, when new units are sent there… we understand perfectly well that the pretexts used to justify such actions, they are far-fetched," Lavrov said.

    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.

    "I still have a high opinion of the quality of military thinking, military training in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and other countries of the North Atlantic alliance. I cannot assume that they have even the slightest assumption that Russia will attack NATO," Lavrov said.

    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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