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NATO Builds Up Capabilities on Russian, Belarusian Borders

Sputnik News

12:41 02.11.2016(updated 13:33 02.11.2016)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the US and other NATO members are actively building up their offensive potential on the western borders of Russia and Belarus.

MINSK (Sputnik) – Russia is forced to respond to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) buildup of offensive capabilities on the western frontiers of allied Russia and Belarus, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

"The US and other NATO members are actively building up their offensive potential on the western borders of the allied state, opening new military bases and developing military infrastructure," Shoigu said at a Russia-Belarus defense ministerial board.

He deplored the countries' openly waged information war and unending attempts to impose their will on others through economic and political dictatorship, as well as military force.

"These actions undermine strategic stability and force Russia to take retaliatory defensive measures, including in the western strategic direction," Shoigu said.

Commenting on the high level of bilateral defense cooperation between Russia and Belarus, the minister highlighted the timeliness of approach "at a time when international mechanisms to resolve crisis are stalling, and tensions draw very close to our borders."

Russia and Belarus will hold joint military exercises dubbed Zapad-2017 ("West-2017") next September, with maneuvers to account for the NATO buildup at the western borders of the allied states, according to Shoigu.

"In developing the concept and scenario of the exercises, the situation related to the increased activity of NATO near the borders of the allied state will be taken into account," Shoigu said.

Sputnik



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