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BRUSSELS, February 10. /TASS/. NATO decided to continue the deployment of Patriot batteries to augment the air defenses of Turkey, North Atlantic Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
"At the end of last year, we agreed assurance measures for Turkey - with AWACS surveillance planes, air policing, an increased naval presence in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea and we decided to continue the deployment of our Patriot batteries to augment the air defenses of Turkey," Stoltenberg said at the meeting of NATO defense ministers.
NATO’s aviation and naval expansion in Turkey is taking place against the backdrop of sharp deterioration of relations between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter in Syria that allegedly briefly entered Turkish airspace.
Patriot batteries were deployed in Turkey in 2012 after several incidents of shelling of the Turkish territory from Syria. The mission was aimed at protecting Turkey from shellings from neighboring Syria.