Russian Military Buildup in Crimea Not Directed Against NATO
17:01 18.08.2016(updated 17:25 18.08.2016)
The Russian military buildup in Crimea is not directed against NATO, Russia's envoy to the alliance said.
PSKOV (Sputnik) – The buildup of the Russian military in Crimea is not directed against NATO or anyone else, Russia's envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Thursday.
"Not against anyone," Grushko said answering a question whether strengthening of the Russian military forces in Crimea was directed against NATO.
"Frankly, when it comes to the perception of what we are doing in Crimea, there is some invented element of the public opinion intimidation. In fact, NATO is well aware that a very serious Russian military was historically, at all times present in Crimea. It included not only a marine component, but also ground, air. There has always been a serious anti-ship [component] and the air defense capability. Therefore, what we are doing today, in terms of the balance of power is nothing new for NATO," he added.
The envoy confirmed that Russia has to consider what is going on on its southern borders, saying "we see that the eastern flank [of NATO] boost which has been talked about during the summits in Wales and Warsaw is getting solid shapes… All of these should not be left without our attention."
Crimea reunified with Russia after almost 97 percent of those who voted in a local referendum on the issue in 2014 supported the move. Ukraine did not recognize the outcome of the referendum.
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