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MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. The strengthening of NATO’s military potential in the Baltic region for countering imaginary challenges undermines the defences against the real threat of terrorism, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"Approaching the issue of NATO’s actions in the Baltic region we proceed from two important aspects," she said. "First, the question is how it benefits strategic stability in our common space. We do not understand it, and it concerns us."
But most importantly, Zakharova said, is that the NATO leadership in an effort to strengthen its positions in the Baltic region may lose "the ability to interact on the common global problem - the fight against international terrorism." "In the space where there are no prerequisites for the intensification of efforts, these efforts are intensified with a great dynamism," she added. "At the same time in another region, where collective approaches, courage and determination are required, where any political ambitions over who will run the show must be dropped - in this region there is no intensification of the collective effort."
Such approaches, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, put the future of the residents of the alliance’s countries in jeopardy. "Today’s younger generations may be directly affected by the terrorist threat if no collective resistance is offered to it," she said.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Russia regarded plans for the expansion of the Amari airbase in Estonia for NATO needs as an openly provocative step. Moscow drew attention to a "recent statement by Commander of the Estonian Air Force Jaak Tarien that the plans for the expansion of the Amari military aerodrome infrastructure at the expense of the territories that had been intended for civil aviation are conditioned by the ‘growing NATO Air Force needs’."
"In light of the incessant speculations about the need of additional permanent military presence of the alliance’s member countries and first of all the United States on the alliance’s "Eastern flank" we regard the announced preparations as an openly provocative step aimed at destabilising the situation in a traditionally most stable from the military security viewpoint region of Europe," the ministry said. "And the ease with which the Estonian authorities are sacrificing civilian facilities for NATO’s policy aimed at accelerated militarisation of the Baltic region is just surprising," the ministry said.