Moscow will give a “well considered” response to the NATO exercises in Lithuania, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday.
Amid tensions in Belarus, the United States has deployed an armoured battalion to Lithuania as part of the pre-planned operation Atlantic Resolve aimed at deterring Russia’s aggression in the region.
Ryabkov said the US and its allies were engaging in “hostile” actions against Russia and Belarus, according to the Interfax news agency quoted by the Baltic News Service.
“Our reaction will be correct and well considered,” he said. “It will be calibrated to make sure that there is no possibility to artificially increase the tensions.”
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has previously said that NATO is “seriously stirring” in Poland and the Baltic states.
Lithuanian and NATO officials have repeatedly stated that there are no unplanned movements of troops and that all national exercises, including those involving allied troops, are pre-planned and are not connected to the unrest in Belarus.
However, Reuters reported on September 3 that the US troops are arriving earlier and staying longer than the Lithuanian government had initially indicated.