Amid reports of a planned buildup of U.S. military assets in European countries bordering Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vows "naturally, we will react," Newsweek reported.
The NATO Western military alliance is planning the Defender-Europe 20 exercise, which will include the "largest deployment of troops from the United States to Europe in more than 25 years," according to the report.
"We cannot ignore these processes, which are of great concern, but we will respond in such a way that does not create unnecessary risks," Lavrov told official government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday, per the report. "It's unavoidable. I hope that any normal military official and politician understands this."
About 36,000 personnel will be deployed — 25,000 from the U.S. — across Germany, Poland, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, according to Newsweek.
"Those who provoke this kind of absolutely unjustified doctrine want a response in order to continue to escalate tensions," Lavrov added to the paper, per the report. "But it's worth noting that everything that we do in response to the threats created by NATO members to our security we do exclusively on our own territory. Just like all our nuclear weapons are on our territory, unlike American nuclear weapons."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insisted the exercise is "not directed against any particular country," according to reports.
"Russia has every right to feel secure within its borders, but so do our member states," he added, per the report.
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