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    The NATO emblem is seen before a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 22, 2013

    'NATO Will Imitate Dialogue With Russia' Prior to Warsaw Summit

    © AFP 2019 / JOHN THYS
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

    The North Atlantic Alliance does not intend to have a meaningful conversation with Russia to address Moscow's concerns over the bloc's increasing assertiveness at the next NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting, should it take place, defense analyst Igor Korotchenko told RIA Novosti.

    Instead "NATO will try to talk around the real problems, by imitating the dialogue" with Russia at the meeting, he said. The alliance "will try to prevent Moscow from taking counter military steps by giving an appearance of discussing the existing issues."

    The US  Army Corps of Engineers Europe District is managing the construction of a $134 million Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Complex in Deveselu, Romania
    © Flickr / US Army Corps of Engineers Europe District
    Korotchenko added that NATO will likely use its upcoming summit in Warsaw to further its strategy of building up the bloc's military capabilities close to Russia's borders. The new measures are expected to involve establishing military bases, airfields and arms depots in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

    Earlier on Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the bloc wanted to hold the next NRC meeting before the Warsaw summit scheduled to be held in July. Moscow welcomed the initiative, but emphasized that dialogue should be "constructive and based on respecting mutual interests," as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov put it.

    "The Russian side has never avoided dialogue, we have always supported dialogue," he told reporters. "We believe it's the only way to tackle the problems we face."

    The alliance has been building up its military presence in Europe, using the alleged Russian meddling in the Ukrainian civil war as a pretext. Moscow has repeatedly denied these groundless claims.

    Last week, the bloc inaugurated the Aegis Ashore base in Romania that is part of the US missile defense shield in Europe. A day later, construction on the next base began in Poland.

    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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    military buildup, dialogue, Aegis Ashore BMD complex, NATO, NATO-Russia Council, Europe, Russia
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