The State Duma responded to accusations against Russia of building up power in the Crimea

A powerful army grouping in Crimea was created primarily in response to constant provocations by NATO, State Duma deputy from Sevastopol Dmitry Belik told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg complained that Russia “continues to violate the territorial integrity of Georgia and Ukraine” and “actively deploy forces in the Black Sea region”. The Alliance, he said, is responding with an increased presence on land, at sea and in the air.

“The Russian military grouping in Crimea has indeed grown many times over over the past six years and represents a single technological monolith of our defense in this region. Since 2014, NATO has done everything to make us choose this path”, – Belik said.

According to the parliamentarian, it was NATO’s provocations that forced them to take drastic steps in the Black Sea region: off the coast of Crimea, the alliance “behaves like an aggressive provocateur”.

“Their reconnaissance aircraft are constantly testing our air borders, and therefore we deploy several dozen modern fighters of the Su-30 type in Crimea. Their ships with strike weapons constantly sail near our territorial waters, and therefore we have intensified the work of anti-ship complexes of the Bastion type”, –  the deputy said.

According to him, NATO “is constantly inciting Ukraine to test missiles capable of reaching the territory of Crimea” – and Russia, in response, built an echeloned air defense system, including S-400 complexes.

In addition, Russia has deployed Krasukha-4 electronic warfare stations in Crimea “to close the eyes of those who want to see what they are not supposed to”.

“So the NATO secretary general is right – we have really increased our military power in the Black Sea, but only thanks to NATO’s actions”, – Belik concluded.

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