Russia says NATO's planned eastward build-up is destabilizing

Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova attends a news briefing in Moscow, Russia, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - NATO’s plan of its biggest build-up in eastern Europe since the Cold War is a destabilizing factor designed to contain Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

Worried since Russia’s seizure of Crimea that Moscow could present a threat to Eastern Europe, the Western military alliance says it wants to bolster defenses on its eastern flank without provoking the Kremlin by stationing large forces permanently.

(This story has been refiled to add a missing letter in headline)

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Katya Golubkova