JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin: Russia must build up defenses in view of NATO moves” – AP/ Vladimir Isachenkov

File Photo of U.S. Navy warships in Black Sea exercise, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to MC1 Justin Stumberg

“… Russia has bristled at … U.S. and other NATO ships … [T]ensions between Moscow and the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, … [the] insurgency in eastern Ukraine and other irritants. … Russia suspended its [NATO] mission … and ordered the closure of [NATO’s] office in Moscow after NATO … [expelled] eight Russian officials [accused of being spies]. Moscow has repeatedly voiced concerns over … NATO forces near Russian borders …. Russia and … [NATO] have continuously accused each other of dangerous and provocative [sea and air] maneuvers …. [M]ost of the world … recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine despite the peninsula’s 2014 annexation by Russia. … Moscow warned that it is prepared to target intruding warships if they fail to heed warnings. …”

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