Ukraine’s accession to NATO would mean the alliance’s military infrastructure further approaching Russia’s borders, which would not contribute to strengthening stability in Europe, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Last week Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused NATO of using far-fetched pretexts to deploy its military infrastructure in close vicinity of the Russian borders.

Sergei Lavrov noted that the current deployment of NATO infrastructure in Eastern Europe reflected its desire to “fill the void” it believes was left behind by the 1991 Soviet breakup.

“For many years Russia has been seriously concerned about the approach of NATO’s military infrastructure to our borders. This would be a further step, potentially this may become a further step in this direction, which, of course, will not contribute to the strengthening of stability and security on the European continent,” Peskov told reporters.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, NATO countries have been stepping up air activity near Russia’s borders since mid-June 2017.

Last week, the Ministry of Defense reported that six flights were carried out by Russian warplanes to intercept NATO reconnaissance aircraft. For their part, foreign planes conducted 15 reconnaissance flights in close proximity to Russian borders.

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