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Russia considers NATO buildup near its borders as demonstration of hostility - deputy FM

9 June 2014, 16:16 -- Russia views the NATO buildup near its borders as a demonstration of hostile intentions and the deployment of additional forces in Central and Eastern Europe as a violation of the Founding Act and promises to retaliate against that move.

'We cannot help but see the alliance's military buildup near the Russian borders as a demonstration of hostile intentions. The additional deployment of substantial combat forces of NATO in Central and Eastern Europe, even through rotation principles, can hardly be called anything else but a direct violation of the provisions of the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act,' Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said in an interview with Interfax.

'Indeed, we cannot disregard the militarization of neighboring states and will have to take the necessary political and military-technological measures to support our security,' the senior diplomat indicated.

The Ukrainian events have become a graphic demonstration of a crisis of the Euro-Atlantic security system.

'Same as it happened during the August 2008 events in the South Caucasus, NATO is creating additional problems rather than helping solve any. The enhancement of the alliance patrolling mission in the Baltic countries, the military buildup in Central and East European states and the Baltic and Black Seas, intensified exercises near the Russian borders and the use of AWACS aircraft in the airspace along the Ukrainian borders add elements of tension to the already complicated situation,' the first deputy minister said.

'The attempt to search for 'a new role' of the alliance on the routine track of 'deterrence of the threat from the East' can quash years-long efforts to build up military trust, escalate tensions and accelerate an arms race which is fraught with serious implications for all Euro-Atlantic states,' Titov said.

Russia hopes Finland will retain its neutral status that it sees as a significant factor of maintaining stability in Northern Europe.

'For us, Finland's traditional policy of non-membership in military blocs is an important factor of ensuring stability in North Europe,' Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov.

At the same time, 'decisions on national security and defense policy are, of course, a sovereign affair of the Finland state and people,' he said.

At the same time, 'decisions on national security and the defense policy are, of course, a sovereign affair of the state of Finland and the people there,' he said.

'There is a nationwide public debate on the future development of Finland's relations with NATO. Until now Finnish public support for membership in the military alliance has ranged between 20 and 25 per cent,' Titov said.

'The state leadership of Finland has consistently called for this discussion to circumstantially reflect all factors, including Russia's possible reaction to the prospect of Finland's NATO membership, and stresses that even if at some stage the Finns are going to decide the question of membership in the North Atlantic bloc, such a decision should be made on the basis of a nationwide referendum,' the high-ranking diplomat recalled.

'With regard to Russian-Finnish relations, currently their nature can be described most accurately by the terms 'good, neighborly',' said the first deputy foreign minister.

Source: Russia-considers-NATO-buildup-near-its- borders-as-demonstration-of-hostility-deputy-FM-1058/

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