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Moscow calls on London to strengthen stability in EU, not to send troops to Baltic States

October 08, 2015, 16:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Everything connected with such actions should serve only one purpose — strengthening, not undermining stability in the region, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says

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© Gennady Khameliyanin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. Moscow calls on London to strengthen stability in Europe, not to station troops in the Baltic States, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"We talked about it many times. Steps on relocating armed forces in Europe should contribute to strengthening common European security and stability," Zakharova said. "It is a big question whether such steps will strengthen security and why they are taken," she added.

"Everything connected with such actions should serve only one purpose — strengthening, not undermining stability in the region," Zakharova stressed.

The fact that NATO moves its military infrastructure to Russia’s borders is regrettable and will lead to reciprocal steps, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier today.

Commenting on the statement made by UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon on plans to send troops to the Baltic states to prevent possible provocations by Russia, Peskov said: "It is a far-fetched pretext that was voiced about the alleged threat coming from Russia. This is precisely the camouflage that NATO uses to cover up its plans to further expand toward our borders."

"This is not new, the process has been underway for dozens of years," the spokesman said. "This cannot be anything but regrettable," he added. "Of course, any plans of NATO to move its military infrastructure closed to Russia will lead to reciprocal steps in order to restore the necessary parity," Peskov noted.

Earlier today, Fallon told the meeting of the defense ministers of NATO countries that UK plans to send troops to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to ensure security in the Baltic States. He said the troops were part of a "more persistent presence by NATO forces" to respond to "any further Russian provocation and aggression".

State Duma’s International Affairs Committee head Alexey Pushkov has described as "theatre of the absurd" NATO’s decision to defend the Baltic States from threats coming from Russia. "NATO is not fighting against IS [Islamic State terrorist organization] that represents a real threat to the West, but instead prepares to defend the Baltic States from the imaginary Russian threat. Theatre of the absurd," Pushkov wrote on his Twitter microblog on Thursday.

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