Reactions in Moscow to NATO's decision to deploy four international NATO battalions in the Baltic states and Poland have ranged from condemnation to calls for the invasion of the Baltic states.

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Alexander Grushko
© AP/Scanpix

Alexander Grushko, Russia's representative in NATO, said “the actions that NATO has taken towards the East have without a doubt made the situation worse. We are talking about military measures, for example, rotational forces and massive exercises with the goal of drawing new continental lines, suppressing the potential for a larger Europe and forming a dependency on the USA for European countries.”

Frants Klintsevich, the head of the Russian Federation Council's Defense and Security Committee, said the new NATO battalions were essentially meaningless, but also said that “they create infrastructure – air bases are managed, and the necessary technical equipment is built next to them. In terms of modern capabilities, we can say that there is the creation of a beachhead for aggressive actions.”

The fact that Russia has simultaneously ridiculed the deployment of the four NATO battalions as meaningless and also called it a dangerous action is a consistent though logically absurd position on the part of the Russian government.

Leonid Kalashnikov, Russian state Duma member and member of the international affairs committee, said Russia would have to deploy Iskander-M rockets and S-400 anti-aircraft defense systems in Kaliningrad oblast. “We can no longer rely on NATO's good will, so we must prepare adequate measures to defend our territory and our interests,” he said. He failed to mention, however, that the S-400 had already been deployed in Kaliningrad and that Russia had already announced the deployment of Iskander systems there several times in 2011.

Yevgeny Fyodorov, a member of the pro-Putin United Russia party who is notorious for having initiated an attempt in Russia to declare Lithuania's 1991 declaration of independence illegal, said “We must move from defense to attack. We must nullify the illegal decisions related to the liquidation of the Soviet Union and the violation of its borders in 1991.”

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