Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee head Alexey Pushkov has said NATO's latest measures to shore up the defence of the Baltic states from threats emanating from Russia is "theatre of the absurd". Meanwhile the Kremlin's spokesman said Russia will take "reciprocal steps".
Dmitry Peskov and Vladimir Putin
© AP/Scanpix

"NATO is not fighting against IS that represents a real threat to the West, but instead prepares to defend the Baltic states from the imaginary Russian threat. Theatre of the absurd," Pushkov wrote on his Twitter microblog on Thursday.

Earlier on the day, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the meeting of the defence ministers of NATO countries that UK plans to send troops to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to ensure security in the Baltic states. He said the troops were part of a "more persistent presence by NATO forces" to respond to "any further Russian provocation and aggression".

Commenting on the statement made by UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon on plans to send troops to the Baltic states to prevent possible provocations by Russia, Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "It is a far-fetched pretext that was voiced about the alleged threat coming from Russia. This is precisely the camouflage that NATO uses to cover up its plans to further expand toward our borders".

"This is not new, the process has been underway for dozens of years," the spokesman said. "This cannot be anything but regrettable," he added.

"Of course, any plans of NATO to move its military infrastructure closer to Russia will lead to reciprocal steps in order to restore the necessary parity," Peskov noted.

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