A senior Russian military official on Wednesday warned of a buildup of NATO forces close to the country’s borders, the defense ministry said.
Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia’s General Staff, “noted a strengthening of NATO’s frontline military presence close to Russia’s borders”, while meeting the commander of NATO forces in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti.
Gerasimov added that “this doesn’t help reduce tensions” between Moscow and the alliance, said a defense ministry statement after they met in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The US last week warned it would withdraw from a Cold War arms control treaty (known as the INF), signed in 1987, within 60 days if Russia does not dismantle missiles that the US claims breach the deal.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned such a move would only push Moscow to develop nuclear missiles.
NATO held massive exercises close to Russia’s borders in October and November after Russia held major military exercises on NATO’s eastern flank in 2017.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this month blasted “the recklessness of NATO”.