Russia dismisses threat perceived by NATO as "non-existent"

Russia has accused NATO of "demonization" after the military alliance pledged to up the number of troops on its eastern flank in the face of what Moscow claims is a "non-existent" threat.

At a summit in Warsaw on Friday, NATO approved the rotational deployment of four battalions from next year to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, where unease has grown in the face of the easternmost member states' increasingly powerful neighbour.

But Russia has denied posing any threat, instead accusing NATO of demonizing the country in a bid to detract from its own destructive role in global conflict, according to a Foreign Ministry statement released on Sunday.

"The alliance is concentrating its efforts on containing a non-existent threat from the east," the statement said.

NATO ambassadors are scheduled to meet their Russian counterpart Alexander Grushko in Brussels on Wednesday to inform Moscow about the decisions taken at the Warsaw summit.

Germany, the EU's leading power, has been among those pushing for NATO to rekindle dialogue with Russia.

"I very much welcome the fact that the next NATO-Russia Council meeting takes place on Wednesday, immediately after Warsaw," German Foreign Minister Frank-Waler Steinmeier said, referring to the recent summit in the Polish capital.

"It is an opportunity to clarify the decisions in Warsaw with full transparency and to also get a serious and continuing dialogue going with Russia again, particularly on the difficult issues of our peace plan and European security structure," the minister told dpa.

Last update: Sun, 10/07/2016 - 15:55

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