Russia 'Doing Everything' to Protect Itself Amid NATO Expansion

© Sputnik / Sergey Orlov / Go to the mediabankRussian soldiers watch a transporter-loader place an Iskander-M shorter-range missile onto a launcher during an exercise
Russian soldiers watch a transporter-loader place an Iskander-M shorter-range missile onto a launcher during an exercise - Sputnik International
Moscow is doing its best to protect the country amid the NATO expansion, Russia's envoy to the bloc said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is making every effort to protect its national security interests in light of NATO’s continued eastern expansion toward its borders, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Wednesday.

"We do everything necessary to ensure our security interests [are protected]… We see that the work on improving the infrastructure [of NATO near Russia’s borders] is ongoing. NATO tries to expand the capacity for strengthening, this relates to airfields, ports, and the entire logistics chain," Grushko said.

He noted that relations with NATO were going through significant changes.

Grushko specified that stability in the NATO-Russian relationship had been maintained for many years by the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which stipulated that NATO members refrain from building up forces on the territories of new members to the alliance.

A US soldier peers through binoculars - Sputnik International
NATO Steps Up Reconnaissance Near Russian Borders - General Staff
On February 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said NATO had intensified its intelligence activity near Russian borders over the past 10 years and added that the alliance continued to eschew any forms of cooperation with Russia.

NATO has set a sustainable course for the alliance’s expansion by engaging Eastern European states since 2014, explaining the expansion as a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly refuted such allegations, and regards NATO's encroachments as provocative. At the NATO July summit in Warsaw, it was decided that the military alliance would send multinational battalions to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, at the request of these countries.

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