Lavrov points to NATO’s unprecedented military build-up near Russian borders

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MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. NATO continues its unprecedented military build-up near Russia’s borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint press conference following talks with his Finnish counterpart Timo Soini on Tuesday.

“The facts are clear: NATO continues its unprecedented military build-up near Russia’s borders, boosting military infrastructure and increasing the number of troops. The number of exercises in the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as of air force drills, has multiplied,” the Russian top diplomat noted.

According to Lavrov, the Alliance is reluctant to make sure that military aircraft transponders are on during flights, which would help ensure security, although the issue has been raised many times at meetings of the Russia-NATO Council. “They prefer to debate over their view of developments in Ukraine that come as a result of a coup they had supported,” Lavrov pointed out.

The Russian foreign minister also said that Western countries did not respond to Russia’s suggestions to arrange expert dialogue on cyber security. “We have on numerous occasions put initiatives before our western partners to launch a serious expert conversation on cyber security instead of noisy discussions of who poses a threat in this area. However, there has been no response,” Lavrov emphasized.

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