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US deployment in former Warshow Pact worries Ivanov
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Thursday that Russia is "concerned" over the likelihood of United States military bases being deployed in Eastern Europe close to Russian territory. "Moving of any military infrastructure of the NATO bloc to our borders can't but cause a corresponding reaction and concern on our part," Ivanov was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying during an inspection tour in the Siberian city of Omsk. "This is not a situation to ignore," he said, noting that Russia is maintaining permanent diplomatic and military contacts with the United States on the issue. Ivanov said the United States is considering deploying bases from Germany to Poland and some other European nations but a final decision has yet to be made. "They assure us that the issue is still under consideration and that Moscow will be informed about the final decision," Ivanov said. The United States has been trying to expand its military presence in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and some former Soviet territories causing great concern in Moscow. Russian-US relations have improved dramatically following the establishment of an anti-terrorist coalition after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But Russia has repeatedly warned against any expansion of the US-led NATO to the east, calling the move "a mistake". Enditem
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