Russian media reports say that speaking at a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries of the CSTO Security Councils in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu stated yesterday that NATO continues increasing its military presence on the northern and western borders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member nations and conducts exercises to practice invasion of their territory.  

He noted that the situation in the CSTO’s area of responsibility remains complicated.  “Moreover, it has a tendency to deteriorate. One of the main reasons for this is the policy of the Western countries, first, the U.S., the U.K. and the EU, aimed at destroying the international security system.  The ongoing expansion of NATO is a direct threat to the CSTO member states,” Shoigu noted.

“The immediate threat to the CSTO member states is the ongoing expansion of NATO.  The alliance's military presence is increasing on the northern and western borders of the collective security zone, and new weapons systems are being deployed.  The number of provocations in the airspace is growing, numerous military exercises are being conducted, including the invasion of the territory of the CSTO countries," he said, according to TASS

"The West is pursuing the obvious goal of using Ukraine as a weapon against Russia in order to inflict as much damage as possible on our country. It has become absolutely clear that the attempt to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia has failed," Shoigu was cited as saying by Sputnik.

Turning to the CSTO’s eastern flank, Shoigu reportedly said that Russia is concerned over new militant training camps cropping up across Afghanistan and jihadists flocking to the Central Asian country from Syria and Iraq.  He said the risk of terrorist spillovers was increasing.