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Moscow believes NATO’s build-up near Russian borders is short-sighted — FM

January 26, 2016, 11:00 UTC+3

Sergey Lavrov also said the United States is the sole decision-maker within NATO, while Europe’s role is to merely "render a salute"

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MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Moscow will keep a close watch on the buildup of NATO’s military potential near its borders and it regards such steps as short-sighted, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the 2015 review news conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

"We have taken note of the counter-productive and dangerous policy in relations with Russia, including the build-up of NATO’s military potential near our borders and the creation of global European and Asian segments of a global US missile defense. In our opinion such actions are destabilizing and short-sighted," Lavrov said.

Lavrov also said the United States is the sole decision-maker within NATO, while Europe’s role is to merely "render a salute."

He explained that Russia found rather alarming NATO’s military infrastructures were being deployed near its borders.

"Just recently I saw some statistics, the Pentagon’s budget request for the 2017 fiscal year. In contrast to the current $790 million up to $4 billion is requested for operations in Europe. There may be four-fold growth. The purpose is to create forward deployment bases for military equipment and rotation of US troops on the permanent basis. US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed that in Davos," Lavrov said.

"All decisions made within the North Atlantic Alliance are consensus-based," he recalled. "If the votes of my counterparts, official representatives of those countries which are concerned about NATO’s attempts to use the enemy image in its policies are put together, the chorus (of criticism) will be strong enough. But when they gather in Brussels to vote on this or that issue, they adhere to bloc discipline, and not their national interests."

"Who is it that determines the bloc discipline? Our president said just recently it is not NATO’s ideas or NATO’s attempts to dictate its will to one and all that constitute a problem. The real problem all decision-making inside NATO is done by the United States, while Europe just "renders a salute," Lavrov said.

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