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Russia to respond to NATO’s activity in Poland, Baltic region — diplomat

The Russian military will watch with much attention what means might be necessary to neutralize the risks associated with NATO’s growing activity

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Intensification of NATO’s activity in the areas adjoining the Baltic Sea will call for Russia’s military and political response, Alexander Grushko, the Russian ambassador to NATO told Kommrersant FM business news radio on Friday.

"A decision to deploy (NATO’s) extra battalions changes the regional situation in the sphere of security qualitatively," he said. "Today this situation is acquiring new parameters and it’ll surely require not only a political response but also the appropriate military precautions."

The Russian military "will watch with much attention what means might be necessary to neutralize the risks" associated with NATO’s growing activity.

"It’s all too obvious that measures will be taken and our partners at the Russia-NATO Council shouldn’t get surprised over it," Grushko said. "All the realistically thinking politicians and military realize that any action will trigger an equal counteraction sooner or later."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier four combat battalions will be deployed in Poland and three former Soviet Baltic republic of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

From June 3 to June 19 NATO holds BALTOPS 16 exercise involving fifteen member-states of the pact, as well as Finland and Sweden. The war games will the manpower of 6,100 men.

Almost simultaneously, the Saber Strike 16 war games began in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on May 27. They involve thirteen countries all in all and will continue through to June 22.