NATO dismissed allegations by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday that it was conducting a military buildup near the country's western border, but said it was closely monitoring the situation there.
Earlier on Sunday Lukashenko said NATO tanks and planes had been deployed 15 minutes from the Belarusian border.
"There is no NATO buildup in the region. NATO's multinational presence in the eastern part of the Alliance is not a threat to any country. It is strictly defensive, proportionate, and designed to prevent conflict and preserve peace," a NATO spokeswoman said in a statement, urging Belarus to respect basic freedoms, including the right to peaceful protest.