MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. NATO systematically tests Russia’s strength by sending naval ships and military planes towards its borders. Russia responds to these actions adequately, proportionately and with reserve, the Foreign Ministry said in a memorandum containing counter-arguments to NATO’s factsheet listing myths about Russia-NATO relations.
"NATO systematically tests our strength by sending military ships and planes to areas adjoining our borders, thus making Russia to react. Our measures taken in response are adequate, proportionate and reserved," the memo says.
The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that Moscow’s actions were purely defensive.
"Lately, we observed a significant increase in NATO’s military presence in the Black Sea region. There have been more frequent visits by naval ships carrying missiles, flights by strategic US aircraft and large-scale exercises, including unscheduled ones. Practically every week our means of objective monitoring identify more than 50 reconnaissance planes and drones flying along our borders," the Foreign Ministry said.
Also, the Foreign Ministry drew attention to the accusations of "building up military presence in Ukraine" - a reference to Russia’s actions in Crimea.
"It should be remembered that this territory is part of Russia and our armed forces are present there on legal grounds. Historically, Crimea accommodated not only the Black Sea Fleet, but also Marine units, coastal defenses other ground components and also aviation," the Foreign Ministry said.
"Apparently, the alliance has no other problems. Terrorism and threats to security from other regions are not as significant to it as alleged threats from Russia. The alliance’s uncontrolled expansion and takeover of ever more territories is accompanied by the deployment of military infrastructure, which is used to support NATO’s confrontational rhetoric and potentially can be used for accelerating the delivery of heavy equipment and military personnel of the alliance’s member-states to the borders of our country. The alliance’s expansion fuels tensions. NATO accuses Russia of military activity in zones of contact. But such zones emerged precisely as a result of NATO’s expansion," the Foreign Ministry said.