00:50 GMT +315 November 2018
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    U.S., German, Spanish and Polish troops of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle goups with their tanks get ready for the Iron Tomahawk exercise in Adazi, Latvia October 23, 2018

    Scale of NATO Practice Offensives Near Russia Growing – Defense Minister Shoigu

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    NATO’s military activity near Russia's borders has reached a level not seen since the Cold War, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

    "NATO's military activity near our borders has reached a level which is without precedent since the days of the Cold War. The alliance's policy is aimed at strengthening its advanced military presence on the eastern flank," Shoigu said.

    According to Shoigu, the Alliance actively uses the myth of a 'Russian threat' when engaged in this activity.

    READ MORE: NATO Supreme Commander: US Carrier Off Norway's Coast Puts Russia 'On Notice'

    "A significant increase in the intelligence activity of NATO in the Baltic and the Black Sea region has been recorded. Only this year, the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces flew to intercept possible violators of the national border more than 120 times," Shoigu said.

    Moscow has repeatedly stated, in connection with the increased presence of the NATO armed forces at its borders, that it does not pose a threat to anyone, but will not disregard actions potentially dangerous to its interests, Shoigu added.

    NATO has been significantly expanding its presence in Eastern Europe after the outburst of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 using alleged Russian interference in the Ukrainian internal activities as a pretext.

    Moscow has many times asserted its protests against the NATO military buildup stating that this move will undermine regional balance and result in a new arms race.

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    Tags:
    NATO expansion, NATO, Sergei Shoigu, Russia, Eastern Europe
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