US, NATO’s growing offensive power near Russia creates threats – official

Baku: The intensification of US and NATO offensive potential near the Russian border creates threats not only to Russia, but also to its allies, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Wednesday.

“’Indirect actions’ have become typical in the fight of governments for their interests: the use of protest potential of the population, radical and extremist organizations, and private military campaigns. US and NATO aggressiveness toward Russia is growing, and their offensive potential right on the Russian border is growing, which is creating threats not only to us, but to our allies,” Patrushev was quoted as saying by the Russian Security Council’s press service after a meeting earlier in the day in Tajikistan, Sputnik News reported.

Relations between NATO and Moscow deteriorated following Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. In April 2014, the alliance suspended all practical cooperation with Russia, accusing Moscow of fueling the conflict in Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly denied these accusations and voiced concern over NATO’s increased military presence close to its western borders.

On May 14, during a NATO foreign minister session in Antalya, Tyrkey, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance had no plans to resume cooperation with Russia, regardless of global threats such as the advance of the Islamic State terrorist group. Instead, he stated that NATO would boost its reinforcements in Eastern Europe.