13:02 GMT +323 April 2017
Live
    German soldiers attend a ceremony to welcome the German battalion being deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO deterrence measures against Russia in Rukla, Lithuania February 7, 2017

    Moscow Forced to Respond as NATO 'Deployed Hundreds of Bases Around Russia'

    © REUTERS/ Ints Kalnins
    Politics
    Get short URL
    1036952211

    The increasing number of NATO troops near the Russian borders as well as lack of constructive dialogue between Russia and the alliance urge Moscow to take retaliatory steps, Russia's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Lithuania Alexander Udaltsov told Sputnik on Friday.

    VILNIUS (Sputnik) – NATO has been significantly increasing its presence in Eastern Europe after the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 using alleged Russian interference in the Ukrainian internal affairs as a pretext, a claim Russia has repeatedly denied.

    Moscow has repeatedly voiced its protests against the NATO military buildup saying that will undermine regional stability and result in a new arms race.

    "The alliance is known to have deployed hundreds of military bases along the rather big perimeter around Russia. The real increase of the number of NATO troops in countries neighboring Russia through permanent rotation of contingents as well as lack of the constructive dialogue with us urge Russia to take serious retaliatory steps," Udaltsov said.

    Russia can cooperate closer with Lithuania to curb terrorist threats and strengthen border security, he said.

    "Russia, by the way, can cooperate closer with Lithuania in terms of curtailing terrorism threats, promoting safety of the borders. We have such proposals, so it is possible to go ahead with their realization," Udaltsov said.

    The ambassador also regretted Lithuanian policy toward Russia, with Vilnius planning to build a fence on the border with the Russian Kaliningrad Region for "geopolitical" reasons.

    During the last NATO summit in July, NATO resolved to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations. During the 2014 summit, NATO established a 5,000-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in response to the alleged Russian threat.

    Related:

    Ex-NATO Commander Breedlove Questions US, Russia Armies' Ability to Cooperate
    NATO's Deployment in Baltics Threatens Russia - Deputy Foreign Minister
    Estonian Intelligence Accuses Russia of Waging Information War on EU, NATO
    Tags:
    NATO, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment