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    Lavrov: NATO Actions at Russian Border Have Destabilizing Character

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that NATO actions at the Russian border have provocative and destabilizing character.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — NATO actions at the Russian border have provocative and destabilizing character, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

    "The ongoing activities of the alliance in the regions adjoining Russian borders are certainly provocative and destabilizing. These include the deployment of additional military units in Poland and the Baltic States, and there already have been discussions about the possibility of similar NATO allies' deployment in other countries in Eastern Europe, particularly in Bulgaria and Romania," Lavrov told Izvestiya newspaper.

    He added that the consistent implementation of the national military modernization plans by the individual states, the construction of new military infrastructure, and significant growth of the NATO exercises near Russian borders in the scale and number were also seen as such.

    Lavrov has also said that Russia is watching closely military and political events unfolding in Europe and hops to see the situation deescalate soon.

    "We are closely monitoring the current and perspective military-political situation in Europe. We will stick to a comprehensive approach aimed at securing our borders and Russia’s national interests," he said.

    Lavrov said Russia would shape its response to emerging risks accordingly and "is taking steps to neutralize potential and real threats."

    "Russia is a peaceful country. But our peacefulness is based on the capability to ensure the country’s security in any situation. We continue to advocate a soonest deescalation of the military-political situation in Europe," he added.

    Lavrov also praised NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for admitting recently that Russia did not present an imminent threat to the military bloc.

    "We hope that common sense will eventually prevail and the ‘threat from the east’ rhetoric for the sake of [influencing] the political conjuncture will become a thing of the past," he said.

    Stoltenberg said last month there was no imminent threat coming from Russia to any NATO allies in Europe. He added what they saw was a more assertive Russia that had invested significantly into its armed forces.

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    NATO, Sergei Lavrov, Russia
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