NATO military buildup near Russia’s border does not contribute to the restoration of trust in the Euroatlantic space, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
“We have confirmed our stance that military buildup near our border does not contribute to the restoration of trust in the Euroatlantic,” the Russian foreign minister said during a news conference with his Spanish counterpart.
Lavrov added that “we are forced to react in an adequate way, but we are sure that these problems need to be solved through an equal dialog based on mutual respect.”
Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014 and the start of an internal armed conflict in Ukraine’s southeast in April, NATO has been boosting its military presence near Russia’s borders, including in the Baltic states.
On February 5, NATO defense ministers agreed to set up a new high-readiness force dubbed Spearhead Force as part of the NATO Response Force. Altogether, the enhanced Response Force will be increased and count up to around 30,000 troops.
The ministers also decided to establish six command and control units in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania tasked with “ensuring that national and NATO forces from across the Alliance are able to act as one from the start” if a crisis arises.