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NATO official: Alliance seeks dialogue, deterrence on Crimea

Associated Press Associated Press 7/11/2016

BUCHAREST, Romania — A top NATO official says the alliance wants to engage Russia in dialogue despite concern about Moscow's military buildup in Crimea.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said Monday the alliance was "very concerned" that Russia has "clearly been refurbishing military capabilities" since it annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

The foreign ministers of NATO's eastern flank members are scheduled to meet in Bucharest on Tuesday to discuss regional security.

Gottemoeller says NATO is "ready for dialogue with Russia in a serious way," but favors a dual strategy that also provides for "deterrence and defense."

Tensions have grown between the West and Russia since Crimea was annexed and Russia also backed a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

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