Putin: Russia will respond to NATO 'muscle-flexing' near borders

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is accusing NATO of "muscle-flexing" near Russia's borders, and he says Moscow will respond accordingly.

Putin says NATO has been building up military forces in "violation of previous agreements." He says because of that, Russia is going to suspend its obligations under a treaty that limits the deployment of tanks, aircraft and heavy weapons. Both houses of Russia's parliament have endorsed the suspension, which is set to take effect next month.

Putin's statement today adds to growing tensions between Russia and the West, with military disagreements topping the list. Putin is angry over a proposed U.S. missile-shield program involving Eastern Europe.

The Russian leader's increasingly assertive position comes in advance of parliamentary elections less than two weeks away.

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