Portuguese Air Force fighter F-16 (R) and Canadian Air Force fighter CF-18 Hornet patrol over Baltics air space, from the Zokniai air base near Siauliai. Lithuania. (Reuters / Ints Kalnins)

RT News

The Pentagon has confirmed the military buildup along Russia’s borders to ensure long-term “peace and stability” in the region. Earlier Moscow accused NATO of a sharp increase in air activity and intelligence flights in the border zone.

Replying to RIA Novosti’s query on the increased number of NATO flights around Russia’s borders, a Pentagon representative told the news agency that the military presence of the alliance has increased, but all operations are carried out under utmost “transparency.”

The current efforts of the US European Command, the Pentagon official said, are in line with Operation Atlantic Resolve and demonstrate American “commitment to the collective security of NATO, the long-term peace and stability in the region”, particularly in the light of Russian “interference” in Ukraine.

The official added that this includes among other measures, an increase in “air, and land, sea presence,” as well as holding military drills.

US Operation Atlantic Resolve comprises all US efforts to support their NATO allies and partners in Europe, which translates to persistent presence of land forces in Poland and the Baltic region as well as holding naval drills in the Black Sea.

Russia’s relations with NATO deteriorated dramatically after the alliance accused Moscow of destabilizing the situation in conflict-torn Ukraine and condemned Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March.

The Pentagon’s comments came after Lieutenant-General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s joint military command center told Bloomberg news that NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe is becoming a concern for Moscow.

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