14:52 GMT07 April 2020
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    NATO strengthening its presence on its eastern borders and choosing the policy of containing Russia is naturally concerning for Moscow, Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergey Razov said on Monday.

    ROME (Sputnik) — He added that, in spite of that, Russia is ready for a dialogue with the Alliance carried out on terms of equality.

    "NATO’s decisions and actions cause our natural concern. The summit in Warsaw proved the organization’s policy that is aimed at military and political containment of Russia. The Alliance continues it accelerated build-up of military presence in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and Baltic countries," Razov said in his interview with the Il Tempo newspaper, reminding the journalists that within the framework of the NATO agreements Italy is expected to send its units to the Baltic countries and Poland.

    According to the ambassador, Russia is strengthening its defenses on its own territory, while NATO on the contrary is moving its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders.

    "But we are open for the dialogue. Obviously, on the terms of equal partnership, strict following of international law and making real steps toward maintaining peace and stability of all countries in the Euro-Atlantic region," the ambassador stated.

    Razov also underlined that Moscow and the Alliance had worked out some useful cooperation mechanisms, including those created within the framework of the Russia-NATO Council.

    Italy is one of the NATO’s founding nations. Its yearly military expenses make estimated 1,1 percent of the country’s GDP.

    In July 2016, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the summit in Warsaw that the Alliance would strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations. Italy announced it would contribute by sending 150 servicemen to the mission.

    NATO, Italy, Baltic Region, Russia
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