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NATO’s actions create risks to European security — Russian NATO envoy

October 27, 2016, 19:52 UTC+3

A diplomat comments on NATO’s decision to enhance military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region

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© RONI LEHTI/Lehtikuva via AP

BRUSSELS, October 27. /TASS/. NATO’s actions are creating risks to European security, in particular, to the viability of the Russia-NATO Founding Act which envisages liabilities on military restraint, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Thursday, commenting on NATO’s Wednesday decision to enhance military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region.

"All this is fraught with obvious risks to European security, in particular, to the viability of the Russia-NATO Founding Act which provides for liabilities on military restraint," he said. "Since the NATO summit in Wales [in September 2014 - TASS], the alliance’s ministerial meetings have been proceeding stereotypically and, regrettably, without any positive signals to the Russia-NATO relations. Despite all the talk about openness for dialogue, NATO, as a matter of fact, is now focused primarily on the development and strengthening the policy of all-round military political containing Russia. This course is acquiring a long-term character."

"Military specialists from the alliance’s member states are implementing the decision of the Warsaw summit and are realizing in practice their confrontational schemes of military planning and military preparations in the territories along our borders. Thus, as part of reinforcing the so-called eastern flank of the alliance, it is forming reinforced multinational contingents of the battalion level which will be deployed in the Baltic countries an Poland in early 2017. Moreover, they are looking at deploying a ‘framework’ brigade in Romania, and at concrete options for NATO’s presence in the Black Sea," the Russian diplomat said.

"By the way, frightening the public by movements in international waters of Russian warships which are on their way to the Mediterranean Sea to perform an anti-terrorist mission, NATO and primarily the United States continue active use of their multifunctional combat platforms having a serious offensive and anti-missile potential in the Black Sea. Notably, they are indulging in projection of military force there rather than carrying out any anti-terrorist missions," Grushko said. "Apart from that, in the Eastern European region they are making forward storage of weapons and hardware, modernizing infrastructure ahead of deployment of big army units, conducting an endless chain of drills, both ground, sea and air, along the Russia borders."

"Pondering on the ‘proportionality’ and ‘defense character’ of the alliance’s collective measures, the NATO leaders prefer not to mention national efforts member countries are taking in addition to those measures. But, among other things, a U.S. tank brigade will be deployed on a rotational basis in Eastern Europe. Moreover, countries which have declared themselves as ‘frontline’ ones are enhancing their military potentials," the Russian diplomat stressed.

"The alliance cannot but understand that their measures will not stay unanswered by us. So, a question arises: What is next? A new wave of NATO’s speculations about the ‘Russian threat’ and another spiral of arms race? We think this is the road to nowhere," he said.

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