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US & NATO preparing for ‘invasion’ of Crimea, warns local parliamentarian, as US-Russia tensions in Black Sea region soar

US & NATO preparing for ‘invasion’ of Crimea, warns local parliamentarian, as US-Russia tensions in Black Sea region soar
The deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament has sounded the alarm on escalating military activity on Russia’s borders, insisting that those living on the disputed peninsula just want to be left alone.

In comments reported by RIA Novosti, Efim Fiks warned that an aggressive US-led campaign against the stationing of Russian troops in Crimea, which was reabsorbed into the country in 2014, is leading to rising tension.

“Russia makes the decisions it needs to ensure the security of the territory, our borders and the state. Those decisions are an internal affair of Russia, and there is no reason for NATO to get involved when it does not need to," he said.

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Fiks added that “NATO, together with the United States, is doing everything to bring its armed forces closer to the borders of Russia. This can be seen as preparation for an armed invasion of the territory of the Russian Federation.”

The parliamentarian’s intervention comes just a day after NATO published a report arguing that Moscow engages in “assertive policies and aggressive action,” which has “negatively impacted the security of the Euro-Atlantic area.” It went on to state that “in the long term until 2030, Russia is likely to remain the main military threat to the North Atlantic Alliance."

In an address to leaders on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that member states needed to further increase their presence on the border with Crimea, and in the Black Sea.

Another strain on relations between Russia and the West was NATO’s decision to test fire rockets with the potential to hit the disputed area from nearby Romania. Responding to the exercises last week, the deputy head of the Public Chamber of Crimea, Alexander Formanchuk, told reporters Russian armed forces had deployed advanced hardware to the peninsula, which would neutralize any “surprise missile attack.”

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