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MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. NATO keeps on deliberately whipping up tensions in relations with Russia by expanding its forces in the Baltic countries and Poland, a senior Russian lawmaker told TASS on Friday.
"Deployment of NATO battalions in Baltic states creates no military risks for Russia. But it can be interpreted as a symbolic act which means that no friendly steps could be expected from the alliance," Alexander Romanovich, a deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house and member of its international committee, said commenting on the ongoing NATO summit in Warsaw.
NATO countries "are demonstrating their readiness to further fan tensions in the region, which in no way promotes good-neighborly relations between Russia, the Baltic States and Poland," he said.
"This step is obviously advantageous for the United States which is sparing no effort to augment its influence on NATO as a key instrument of its military doctrine," he said. "The United States will try to compensate weakening of the European Union by strengthening of the alliance’s positions."
NATO’s four battalions will stay in the Baltic states and Poland as long as necessary, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference after the first day of the NATO summit. He said this decision was taken after serious analysis of the development in Ukraine as a defensive response to Russia’s actions.