NATO's military expansion in Eastern Europe forces Moscow to take up measures to protect itself© US Army photo by Master Sgt. Donald Sparks
MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - NATO’s increased military activities in Eastern Europe is a threat to Russia and is forcing Moscow to come up with reciprocal measures in order to protect itself, Russian Public Chamber deputy secretary Sergei Ordzhonikidze told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“When NATO troops are approaching our borders, of course, we develop a plan … It is a threat when troops are being stationed next to your border. I recall NATO’s commitment not to expand the bloc’s territory eastward … All that remains to us is to somehow oppose this expansion of NATO,” Ordzhonikidze said.
He added that the arms race never really stopped, but assumed different forms.
“I remember Churchill’s words that one has to be armed, not to wage war, but to negotiate from the position of strength. And it has never gone, everyone has acted according to this principle,” the official noted.
He also branded NATO’s actions “military hysteria” and explained they are based on allegations of Russian military presence in Ukraine. “But every time we are being accused, they do not show any evidence. This is unfounded,” Ordzhonikidze said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Security Council deputy secretary Mikhail Popov told RIA Novosti Russia is going to make amendments to its military doctrine triggered by geopolitical factors, including NATO’s activities next to Russian borders and the situation in Ukraine.
NATO has been strengthening its military presence in Eastern Europe following the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis in spring. In particular, the bloc sent additional warships to the Black Sea and bolstered air patrolling missions over the Baltic states.
Russia has criticized NATO’s actions, arguing they lead to greater instability in the region.
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Ukraine has never been a nuclear weapons-state and never had control over the nuclear weapons that were located on its territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It doesn’t have the research, technical or industrial capacity to develop and produce nuclear weapons in the short term.