Russia has said it is preparing an "adequate" response to NATO's move of expanding its forces in eastern Europe.
Alexander Grushko
© RIA/Scanpix

The Russian envoy to the transatlantic alliance Alexander Grushko said that Russia will respond to the latest deployment in order to protect Moscow's interests in the region.

"The opening up of additional military potential along our borders is nothing more than an attempt to exert pressure on Russia," Grushko told Russian reporters, according to the Sputnik news agency.

Grushko added that the "serious changes in the military-political situation" would certainly force Russia to step up its military measures.

He said that NATO's latest expansion "creates a great risk for Russia" in the Baltics and could even snowball into a "military confrontation" between Moscow's forces and their adversaries.

NATO had earlier announced that it is strengthening its foothold in eastern Europe in the wake of increasing tensions between Kiev's troops and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

The bloc said it is setting up six bases with a 5,000-strong force to cope with the "changed security environment".

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stated: "Our core responsibility is to keep our nations safe, and that is exactly what we are doing."

"We have decided on the immediate establishment of the first six multinational command and control units in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania."

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