NATO's increased presence and interest in former Soviet Bloc countries is forcing Moscow to establish reciprocal measures, Mikhail Popov, deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council said Tuesday. He added amendments would be made to Russia's military doctrine.
The comments came as NATO prepared for a summit meeting, later this week, in Cardiff, Wales. It is expected to endorse a NATO buildup of forces in Eastern Europe.
Russian Public Chamber Deputy Secretary Sergei Ordzhonikidze referred to NATO's actions, after Russia annexed Crimea and is suspected of orchestrating a rebel movement in Ukraine, as "military hysteria" and claimed each NATO accusation is "unfounded."
"When NATO troops are approaching our borders, of course, we develop a plan...it is a threat when troops are being stationed next to your border. I recall NATO's commitment not to expand the bloc's territory eastward...all that remains to us is to somehow oppose this expansion of NATO. I remember Churchill's words that one has to be armed, not to wage war, but to negotiate from the position of strength. And it has never gone, everyone has acted according to this principle," Ordzhonikidze said.
Tuesday, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to downplay an off-the-record comment in which Putin told Jose Manual Barroso, European commission president, "If I want, I will take Kiev in two weeks."
Barroso told an Italian newspaper his conversation with Putin turned "to threats" after Barroso asked Putin about Russian troop movements in Ukraine.
The aide, Yuri Ushakov, said Putin's quote was "taken out of context."