"If we look at things as they are, it was NATO that moved close to our borders. NATO's military readiness and large-scale drills are taking place near our borders," Zakharova pointed out.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that the reduction of military tensions in Europe requires credible agreements to prevent the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) towards her country's borders.
"Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has received repeated assurances that NATO jurisdiction and troops will not move an inch to the East. All these promises were forgotten and not kept. The result is a deplorable security situation in Europe," she said.
"We trust that the only way to resolve the situation is to jointly develop long-term agreements to prevent expanding NATO eastward and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders."
NATO's "obsession to fight imaginary threats" was appreciated at a meeting of the Alliance's foreign affairs ministers, which took place in the Latvian capital from November 30 to December 1.
"Once again, one of the focuses was Russia and its 'possible aggression' against Ukraine. Our country was blamed for supposedly doing something near NATO's borders, threatening the Alliance by moving our troops into our own territory. If we look at things as they are, it was NATO that moved close to our borders. NATO's military readiness and large-scale drills are taking place near our borders," Zakharova stressed.
"Ukraine's accession to NATO is a red line for us and we have said it for a long time. The ongoing policy aimed at dragging Kiev into the orbit of the alliance, the actual move by NATO to use the Ukrainian military infrastructure, and attempts to turn Ukraine into a foothold in a confrontation with Russia, could have serious negative consequences and exacerbate the military and political situation in Europe," she explained.
Since 1990, NATO has been expanding its zone of influence beyond Germany's eastern borders through the incorporation of 13 former Soviet Union countries into the Alliance. This geopolitical movement has been accompanied by the promotion of an anti-Russia sentiment through international mainstream media.
"Until an overarching understanding between Russia and the West is reached, the threat of large-scale armed conflict will always exist. It's not about whether Ukraine will join NATO or not, it's Russia's growing political marginalization in its historic hinterland," analyst Sinan Hanioglu tweeted.