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Russian President Warns NATO Against Expanding Along Russian Borders

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned NATO against expanding along his country's borders.

Mr. Putin said Tuesday at a Defense Ministry meeting that NATO is building up its resources near Russian frontiers in violation of previous agreements. He said Moscow cannot afford to remain indifferent to what he called NATO's obvious muscle flexing.

Mr. Putin said Russia must increase the combat-readiness of its strategic nuclear forces to ensure a "swift and adequate response to any aggressor."

He also warned that his country will not wait forever for its partners to join the adapted conventional arms control treaty. He said Russia will not fulfill any of its obligations under the 1999 version of the treaty until NATO members sign it.

The Soviet Union and NATO countries first signed the treaty in 1990. They updated it in 1999 to reflect the collapse of the Soviet Union. But NATO allies have refused to ratify it until Russia fulfills its commitment to withdraw forces from Georgia and Moldova. Russia says its forces there are keeping peace.

The armed forces chief of staff, General Yury Baluyevsky, confirmed that Russia will suspend its participating in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty on December 12th.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.