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    US troops land with parachutes at the military compound near Torun, central Poland, on June 7, 2016, as part of the NATO Anaconda-16 military exercise.

    Russia 'Has All Reasons' to Assume NATO Buildup is Directed Against It

    © AFP 2019 / JANEK SKARZYNSKI
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    Members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) do not support the deployment of the NATO missile defense system in Eastern Europe and views it as a step towards an arms race. This was stated by chairman of the SPD faction in the Bundestag Rolf Mützenich in an interview with Frankfurter Rundschau.

    According to the politician, the decision to deploy a missile defense system is premature and inappropriate, taking into account the fact that Moscow perceives this move as a provocation.

    "Russia takes this NATO decision as directed against it, and has all reasons for this," he said.

    From the perspective of the SPD, NATO countries should seek dialogue with Russia in accordance with international rules and reach an agreement on missile defense instead of starting the next stage of the arms race. According to him, the West should find a balance between ensuring military security and maintaining cooperation with Moscow.

    "Russia feels that using this missile defense poses challenges to it. That is why we advocate an open dialogue with Moscow," Mützenich stressed.

    At the NATO summit in Warsaw that took place on July 8-9, the members of the alliance decided to deploy four multinational battalions in the Baltic states and Poland as well as ballistic missile defense systems (BMDS) in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Turkey and Spain.

    Russia, for its part, has repeatedly warned that Moscow will prepare an adequate response to the NATO military build-up near Russian borders.

    Earlier, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (also from SPD) openly denounced NATO's Anaconda 2016 military drills on Russia's doorstep as "warmongering" and "saber-rattling" that could deteriorate the situation on the continent and worsen the EU's relations with Russia.

    His colleague and SPD party member Thomas Oppermann supported his point of view, saying that the logic of military armaments is counterproductive and that Germany should try to normalize relations with Moscow.

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    military buildup, NATO, Europe, Russia
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