Russia warns against NATO eastward expansion
Iran Press TV
Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:14AM GMT
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that any eastward expansion or military build-up by the NATO alliance near Russia's borders will be counterproductive.
"The artificial attempt to continue NATO's eastward expansion, progression of the military infrastructure to the east, closer to Russia's borders, is counterproductive," said Lavrov following a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja in Finland's southern city Turku.
The warning came on the same day as the Western military alliance launched war games near Russia's western border. Nearly 5,000 troops and 800 military vehicles from 10 NATO member states, including the US, Britain and Canada are participating in the Sabre Strike exercises near the Latvian capital, Riga.
The US has reportedly deployed two nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers to a British air base to join the drills later. The military drills are scheduled to last until June 20.
Russia sees the Western military alliance's moves as a sign of aggression amid the crisis in Ukraine.
Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.
The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing punitive measures against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.
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