Russia would react to NATO build-up near borders: minister

MOSCOW Mon Jun 9, 2014 3:16pm EDT

A Polish soldier stands near U.S. and Poland's national flags and a NATO flag as the first company-sized contingent of about 150 U.S. paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Italy arrived to participate in training exercises with the Polish army in Swidwin, northern west Poland April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

A Polish soldier stands near U.S. and Poland's national flags and a NATO flag as the first company-sized contingent of about 150 U.S. paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Italy arrived to participate in training exercises with the Polish army in Swidwin, northern west Poland April 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia would consider any further expansion of NATO forces near its borders a "demonstration of hostile intentions" and would take political and military measures to ensure its own security, a senior diplomat was quoted on Monday as saying.

The comments come amid a deep crisis between Russia and the West over Ukraine and days after U.S. President Barack Obama offered increased military support for eastern European NATO members to ease their concerns over Moscow.

"We cannot see such a build-up of the alliance's military power near the border with Russia as anything else but a demonstration of hostile intentions," Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told Interfax in an interview.

Speaking last week in NATO-member Poland, Obama unveiled plans to spend up to $1 billion on supporting and training the armed forces of alliance states bordering Russia.

The White House also said it would review permanent troop deployments in Europe in the light of the Ukraine crisis, but fell short of a firm commitment to put troops on the ground, as sought by Poland as a security guarantee.

"It would be hard to see additional deployment of substantial NATO military forces in central-eastern Europe, even if on a rotational basis, as anything else but a direct violation of provisions of the 1997 Founding Act on relations between Russia and NATO," Titov said.

"We will be forced to undertake all necessary political and military measures to reliably safeguard our security."

Russia has long opposed NATO's eastward expansion as threatening its own security and says Kiev's plan to associate itself more closely with the West - including with the military alliance and the European Union - has forced it to react.

The West accuses Russia of meddling in Ukraine to keep the former Soviet country in its sphere of influences.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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Comments (34)
It’s apparent from all of the comments coming from the Kremlin that they much prefer to be the aggressor without any potentials for defensive actions by NATO. Their behavior has brought the NATO reaction, not vice versa

Jun 09, 2014 7:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MariaAshot wrote:
“All necessary political and military measures” being what? Opening another bottle of vodka? Replacing your President or Prime Minister? Actually sending your ex-Minister of Defence to prison for massive embezzlement and crimes? Limiting the looting rights of the kleptocracy? Anyone who imagines Russia can do anything whatsoever about Ukraine joining NATO if it ever wishes to do so, and is accepted for membership, has lost their mind. Before Russia could attack any NATO forces, it would have been wiped off the map. Today, China and India are forging a new relationship. Now that is an important development for China. Last week’s deal with Russia is nothing more than Putin’s gift of Siberia, at Russia’s expense. China — which relies on the North American markets and loves Europe almost as fervently as any European — is not about to embark on any policies aimed at weakening the NATO states. Game over, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Time for a summer holiday. Come back on September 1st and be prepared to act in the spirit of conciliation, for a change.

Jun 09, 2014 8:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
anonymot wrote:
Unlike the guy who is isolated in the Smokey Mountains, anyone who has listened carefully to multiple news sources knows that our State Dept & the CIA set this “regime change” up. Deputy Director Victoria Nuland clearly stated that. Forget what Russia says, just listen to our own government closely. Anyone with half a brain and a little perspective on the world could have anticipated the Russian reaction. Titov, their equivalent of Nuland, says it very clearly. Obama & Kerry just spout what they are told to say.

Obama, like Bush, has become an aggressive, marching machine functioning under the influence of those in oil, banking, and the MIC. They will all get richer with a war. Grandpa Bush did with WW II. Papa Bush did with the Gulf. Baby Bush did with the Afghan/Iraq defeat. Now it’s Obama’s turn.

Jun 09, 2014 8:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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