This article was written by guest contributor Jason Ditz.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is demanding NATO formally explain its plans for a dramatic military build-up in Eastern Europe, saying the moves are cause for alarm.

NATO nations have announced several major buildups in the region over the past week, citing the Russian annexation of Crimea, and Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insists the alliance will continue to reinforce in the region as part of its “collective defense,” citing Russia’s military exercises near the Ukraine border.

Russian officials insisted the exercises were just training operations, and Russia is free to move troops around inside of its own borders, adding this wasn’t a good pretext for the move.

Several NATO member nations in Eastern Europe have hyped the Russian training as a sign they are planning a full-scale invasion of Europe. Poland in particular is demanding a minimum of 10,000 armored infantry from Western members to shore up its defenses.


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