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Russian ambassador Kuzmin: We see maneuvers in vicinity of our borders as provocative

The ambassador of the Russian Federation in Bucharest, Valery Kuzmin, declared on Thursday that his country considers the military maneuvers at the border as "challenging" and appreciates that they "endanger" the security situation in the Black Sea.

"The maneuvers in the vicinity of our borders, with the participation of important Western countries, at hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of miles from the Black Sea, are seen by us as provocative, endangering the stability and security situation in the Black Sea," the diplomat told an online press conference.

He also spoke about the Defender Europe 21 military exercise, which also took place in Romania, and appreciated that it "was divided into a series of smaller exercises and maneuvers, in order to become invisible to the OSCE".

He also mentioned the rotating military presence of NATO forces near Russia.

"I'm talking about the presence by rotation, divisions of countries that are thousands of miles from the Russian border, are rotating, but they are permanently present in the vicinity of Russian borders. What does it matter to us whether it is a rotating presence or not? They are constantly present at our borders and they conduct exercise, without hiding this, they conduct attack exercise against Russia. All our countermeasures, especially our military measures, the exercises take place on our national territory, with a few exceptions, when we exercise jointly with the Belarusian forces," Kuzmin said.

The ambassador said the activities were "challenging".

"We see that one of the great headaches of the European Union is military mobility, namely the adaptation of infrastructure in European countries so that NATO forces reach Russia's borders faster. We are encouraged by such openly declared activities and objectives. (...) We see all these activities as provocative, destabilizing for the strategic military situation in Europe," said Valery Kuzmin.

The ambassador spoke of the need for discussions on "practical methods, protocols for interaction at the military level".

The diplomat stated that he was not invited to see the military base in Deveselu.

"I never visited Deveselu. We were not invited. During my relatively long term here, I heard from colleagues that they were invited (...) to visit Deveselu. We were not invited," Valery Kuzmin said.