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Russian General Staff chief concerned about NATO’s activity near Russian borders

May 19, 2014, 22:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Gerasimov told NATO Military Committee Chairman, General Knud Bartels, by phone that such activity does not contribute to enhanced security in Europe
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© Archive EPA/ITAR-TASS/JAKUB KACZMARCZYK

MOSCOW, May 19 /ITAR-TASS/. The chief of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov expressed concern about NATO’s increased military activity near Russian borders, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

Gerasimov told NATO Military Committee Chairman, General Knud Bartels, by phone that such activity does not contribute to enhanced security in Europe.

“The sides confirmed the understanding of reciprocal steps aimed at decreasing tension and stabilizing the situation,” the Defense Ministry said. “The interlocutors also exchanged opinions on the situation around the crisis in Ukraine,” the ministry said. The two high-ranking defense officials agreed to continue contacts.

Ukraine is in turmoil after a coup occurred in the country in February. New people were propelled to power amid riots as security concerns caused President Viktor Yanukovich to leave the country the same month.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence on March 11 and joined Russia on March 18 following a referendum.

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