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Lavrov points to NATO’s infrastructure closing in on Union State’s borders

According to the Russian Foreign Minister, "the second tricky step" by the West is to ensure its permanent presence on a rotational basis

DUSHANBE, September 15. /TASS/. For a long time now, NATO countries have been beefing up military activity on the territory of the alliance’s new members near the borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday following a joint meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Council of Defense Ministers and the Committee of Secretaries of the Security Councils of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Dushanbe.

"As a result, NATO’s infrastructure and military activity have advanced to the territory of the new members closer to the borders of Russia and Belarus. That’s the reason why we carry out exercises on the soil of our countries. They conduct drills on the territory of fledgling NATO members. Their activity is aimed at embarking on aggressive actions against Russia, even from an overseas state," he said. 

Speaking of military drills near the union state’s borders of Russia and Belarus and NATO members, Russia’s foreign minister stressed that "the situation is pretty clear". He also pointed out that at the time, the level of the armed forces and military equipment was registered in a document called the Founding Act between Russia and NATO. It stated that during peacetime, the deployment of significant combat forces on the soil of new NATO members on a permanent basis cannot be carried out.

However, this principle was wiped out by Western partners on two fronts, Lavrov added. "Firstly, the West flatly refused to negotiate what "significant combat forces" meant. According to our assessment, these are brigades with the appropriate weapons. And it is very difficult to argue the description of the brigade as a significant combat unit," he stressed.

According to the top diplomat, "the second tricky step" by the West is to ensure its permanent presence on a rotational basis. "In those same Baltic States, Canadians, Germans, and Englishmen rotate on a permanent basis for several months, then they replace each other. In fact, it turns out to be a direct violation of the Founding Act," Lavrov concluded.