NATO planning to deploy troops near Russia border - ministry

The position of NATO hardliners seeking to restrain Russia has prevailed against the backdrop of the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said.

The position of NATO hardliners seeking to restrain Russia has prevailed against the backdrop of the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said.

"Russia has taken note of the plans by certain members of the alliance to deploy large military contingents in their territories close to our borders," Antonov said at a conference titled "Modern aspects of international security" at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Wednesday.

"Serious changes are occurring in world politics," Antonov said. "The issues of trust, openness, and predictability remain at the center of attention among politicians and the military," the deputy minister said.

"Color revolutions are a new phenomenon in international life. Essentially, they a non-violent way to topple unwanted governments. As a result, there is chaos instead of the declared democracy and freedom," the senior defense official said.

"We are closely watching such attempts by our closest neighbors because they are aimed against Russia. We shall talk about them at an international conference in Moscow this May," Antonov said.

"Ukraine is the toughest example of such plans being implemented," he said.

"When the threat emerged to the life of people in Crimea and the assets of the Black Sea Fleet (BSF), the BSF forces stepped up security at Russian defense facilities," Antonov recalled. "Russia has not breached any of its international obligations. Thanks to the high performance of the Russian troops, the bloodshed was prevented," he said.

As the Ukrainian crisis continues, "some in NATO have been more candid in their claims on missile defense," Antonov said. "All this only confirmed our previous fears," the deputy minister said.

"Horror stories are circulating about Russian armed forces and their numbers on the Ukrainian border," he said. "A media war is going on without any rules," Antonov said.

"In this frenzy of propaganda, it is unlikely that someone would believe me. There are however verification procedures and we strictly honor all our obligations. Eight inspection groups have visited Russia recently, and the Ukrainian military did so twice. Seven of the eight were interested in the territories adjacent to Ukraine. Their conclusions as a result of the final briefings - the Russian Armed Forces are not conducting any undeclared activity which could undermine Ukrainian security," the deputy minister said.

"We shall watch closely any changes in NATO's nuclear policy and missile-defense plans. We shall not let them turn into threats to Russia's security," Antonov said.

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