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Iran Press TV

Russia to watch NATO moves in east Europe: Envoy

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 5, 2014 7:52AM GMT

Russia says it will inspect NATO's increasing presence in Eastern Europe being established under the pretext of the crisis in Ukraine, adding it will frame its new defense policy with regard to the issue.

"NATO cannot ignore the fact that a stronger configuration of the alliance forces will be taken into account by our military strategists, and Russia will take every necessary step to beef up its defenses against all possible threats," Alexander Grushko, Russia's envoy to the Western military bloc, told Russian daily Kommersant on Tuesday.

Grushko also warned that NATO's decision to reinforce its power in Eastern Europe and return to its Cold War policy of countering what it regarded as its "No 1 enemy," i.e. Russia, will have long-term political implications.

"In an atmosphere where NATO risked having nothing big to do after the end of the Afghan mission, the alliance looked around in search of where to apply itself," he stated, adding, "Long before the events in Ukraine started unfolding, NATO was mulling a sharp increase in military drills."

The lack of cooperation between Russia and NATO will have severe consequences for global and regional security, the Russian official further noted.

Relations between Russia and NATO strained after Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16. The military alliance ended all practical cooperation with Russia over the ensuing crisis in Ukraine on April 1.

The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a number of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures.
Russia, however, rejects the accusation.

MSM/HJL/HRB



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