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MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. NATO's actions to reinforce the "eastern flank" of the alliance, the latest of which has been the US decision to deploy an additional armored brigade in Europe, have seriously deteriorated the security situation, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said in an interview published by the Izvestia daily on Friday.
"The decision to deploy an additional armored brigade is announced at a moment when nothing critical is happening to NATO's interests on the ‘eastern flank’," he said. "They continue to disseminate the absurd bogeyman stories that Russia would allegedly attack the Baltic countries had NATO failed to take action and deploy its troops in the region. There is every reason to talk about the serious deterioration of the military situation."
Grushko added that as present, the United States constantly rotates its forces in six Eastern European countries, exercises involving not only US, but also European troops are conducted continuously. "The naval group in the Baltic Sea has been reinforced. Warehouses for the storage of equipment used by the rotational units in joint exercises with the national contingents are being created. The improvement of the infrastructure for receiving reinforcement troops continues. The activity of the (NATO) military aircraft along our borders has intensified. The number of reconnaissance flights has increased dramatically. The talk of the need to strengthen the military presence in the Black Sea region is going continuously", he said, referring to other NATO actions aimed at building up its military presence.
As for the deployment of a new US armored brigade in Europe, Grushko said that it is necessary to see how these plans are implemented. "But we assess these plans not only from the viewpoint of what the US may additionally deploy on the ‘eastern flank’, but also by the combination of the already taken measures," he said.