Blaming alleged Russian aggression for the increased tension along NATO's eastern borders was a pretext to bolster the alliance's presence there, the chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, said on Wednesday.
"We cannot understand why efforts are being made to create a military presence of NATO near the Russian border. There are no facts that prove Russian aggression - neither in Estonia, nor in Lithuania, nor in Latvia, nor in Poland." Pushkov said at a press conference on Wednesday that all these allegations were "totally unsubstantiated".
In his words, "opinion polls have been held in a number of countries, and practically no one believes that some kind of a threat is coming from Russia".
"Europe is perfectly aware that Russia is an absolutely artificial target created by circles interested in maintaining an atmosphere of conflict with Russia," Pushkov said.
He expressed hope that the unrestrained aspirations of "certain circles primarily in NATO" to use the situation to bolster NATO's presence near the Russian border would be contained.
"Europe does not need this; this may be needed by the incumbent U.S. administration and some countries that rely on anti-Russian policy," Pushkov added.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn