MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - NATO's increasing presence in the Eastern Europe is defensive in nature and is planned in compliance with the provisions of the Russia-NATO Founding Act, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on Monday.
“There will be more visible NATO presence in the East and there also will be more frequent exercises to make sure that this new capability is truly effective,” Vershbow said at a video conference on NATO Wales Summit, adding that for Russia this steps will be entirely predictable. “These measures are entirely defensive. They will not threaten Russia in any way. And they are fully consistent with the NATO-Russia Founding Act,” he explained.
At the NATO Summit held on September 4 and 5 in Wales, NATO member states agreed to expand the alliance’s command and logistics infrastructure in Eastern Europe and form a new force of several thousand troops ready to mobilize quickly in case an alliance country comes under attack.
As Russia’s envoy to the alliance Alexander Grushko said on September 5, NATO used the military crisis in Ukraine as a pretext to boost its military presence near Russian borders. The Russian diplomat characterized the alliance’s role in the Ukrainian crisis as “extremely destructive.”
Following the Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, NATO has been boosting its military presence close to Russia’s border. Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the increasing NATO military presence.