Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of NATO forces strengthening positions closer to Russia's border.
Speaking at a July 22 session of the Russian Security Council in Moscow, Putin said Russia needs to react "appropriately and proportionately" to NATO's moves but he added he currently sees no direct threat to Russia's sovereignty or territorial integrity,ITAR TASS reports.
But the Russian president used the example of the NATO missile-defense system being deployed in Europe, saying the defensive system "is nothing of the kind but an offensive" system.
Putin recommended boosting Russia's defense potential, "including in Crimea and Sevastopol, where we have to build a military structure practically from scratch."
The Russian president also obliquely criticized the NATO alliance saying, "A country, which is part of an alliance, gives away a share of its sovereignty by joining [an alliance] and it does not always reflect the national interests of a given country."