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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Putin stops NATO from flexing its muscles near Russia’s borders

Russia will continue rising the combat readiness of its strategic nuclear forces to be able to strike a fast and adequate blow on any aggressor, Vladimir Putin stated during a meeting at the Defense Ministry. “Russia can not stay indifferent to NATO’s obvious “muscle-flexing” near the borders of the Russian Federation,” the president said.

Putin specified one of the adequate measures which Russia could take against the background of NATO’s muscle-flexing. Russia will suspend its participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), ITAR-TASS reports.

“In violation of previous agreements, military resources of NATO members are being built up next to our borders. Of course, we cannot allow ourselves to remain indifferent to this obvious muscle-flexing," Putin said in televised remarks at a meeting of top military officials.

"We won't observe any obligations unilaterally," Putin said. "Our partners haven't ratified the amended version of the treaty, and some haven't even signed it. Shall we do it unilaterally for years?" He said Russia would consider resuming its obligations under the treaty only after Western nations ratify it, the AP reports.

Russia will set the moratorium for its participation in the CFE Treaty on December 12. Russia will need to continue its struggle against extremists and terrorists, Putin said.

Chief of Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, also spoke in front of Defense Ministry officials and said that Russia ’s moratorium on its CFE membership would be set timely.

The 1990 CFE treaty, which originally set limits on weapons of NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, was revised in 1999. Russia says the old version has lost relevance since former Soviet satellites have joined NATO.

Russia ratified the updated treaty in 2004, but the United States and other NATO members have refused to follow suit, saying Moscow first must fulfill obligations to withdraw forces from Georgia and from Moldova's separatist Trans-Dniester region.

Leonid Slutsky, a spokesman for the State Duma Committee for International Affairs, believes that the West has been trying to use the control over conventional forces in Europe to promote its geopolitical interests to the detriment of universal security. “This will indicate Russia's determination to defend its own interests to guarantee the defensive ability. It may also be a response to USA’s plans to deploy elements of the air defense system in Eastern Europe,” the official said.

Prepared by Dmitry Sudakov

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