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.
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.