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  20026

 Russia increasing military potential on all fronts, - NATO

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NATO said the alliance was confronting efforts by Russia to increase its military capabilities on virtually every level and allies were on guard to prevent any repeat of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

This was announced by NATO General Petr Pavel, Censor.NET reports citing Politico.

Speaking at a POLITICO Brussels Playbook breakfast Monday, Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said that while Russia's intentions were not necessarily clear, its growing military prowess was undeniable.

"We in uniform, we define the threat based on two major elements. One is the capability, the other is the intent," Pavel told POLITICO's Ryan Heath. "When it comes to capability there is no doubt that Russia is developing their capabilities both in conventional and nuclear components. When it comes to exercises, their ability to deploy troops for long distance and to use them effectively quite far away from their own territory, there are no doubts."

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The Kremlin's intentions were less clear, he said. "When it comes to intent, it's not so clear because we cannot clearly say that Russia has aggressive intents against NATO," the general said.

Still, he noted Russia's increasing military presence, and made reference to reports of the stationing of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad and Crimea.

"There are elements that have to worry us and we have to stay ready," Pavel said. "So we take this even potential threat very seriously. We do everything possible to be ready both in terms of capabilities and readiness, to face any potential threat that would mirror the situation we know from Crimea, from eastern Ukraine, not to be repeated against any NATO ally."

He added: "We also observe an increased and more assertive attitude in both political and military leadership talking about taking all necessary measures to face NATO military build-up. We face a huge modernization of all Russia military."

In addition to the threat from Russia, Pavel said that NATO was working to increase its efforts on counter-terrorism and that the alliance did not have the luxury of focusing only on threats from state actors.
 
 
 
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