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Russia To Boost Military Presence In Crimea

Russia's envoy to NATO says his country will boost its military presence in Crimea given the alliance's plans to expand in Eastern Europe.

Russian news agency quoted Aleksandr Grushko as saying on May 15 that Moscow sees NATO's growing military presence in Poland and the Baltic states as "unacceptable."

Grushko also called on the United States to remove its nuclear weapons stationed in Europe, saying such a move would be a "serious contribution to strategic stability and security in Europe."

The comments come a day after Lithuania's military said the Baltic states would seek a permanent presence of NATO troops on their territory to counter increased Russian air and naval activity.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia fear they could become a target of Russian pressure after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and a pro-Moscow rebellion in the country's east.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax