Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko spoke out against NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s comments on the current Russia-NATO relations, after the Secretary General said the Allies are adopting a “dual-track policy of strong deterrence and defence combined with dialogue” with Moscow.
Mr Grushko said: “The point is that in its relations with Russia NATO starts relying on the Cold War schemes and attempts to project force towards Russia, advances military infrastructure and deploys additional contingents close to our borders.”
This behaviour is worsening regional and European security and is dangerous for Russia, which can’t help but address the dangers posed by using any possible mean, Mr Grushko claimed.
Moscow’s first response to the policy carried out by NATO is not appointing an envoy to the alliance.
Warning that Russia “will find answers to these risks” Mr Grushko, who served as Russia’s permanent representative to NATO from 2012 to January, added: “We have all the necessary military and technical potential to do this convincingly and effectively, and to show NATO countries that their steps on the eastern flank are a waste of time and efforts.”
“This does not enhance security of those countries which participate in this, but only creates an extra threat for them.”
“If NATO is seriously interested in de-escalation and creating new tools for preventing a dangerous military activity, and also to avoid a misperception of what is happening and each other’s intentions, in the first place NATO should call for restoring normal military contacts, which should be systemic.”
Mr Grushko addressed the expulsion of Russian diplomats from around the world which followed the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
He said: “It sounds rather paradoxical when, on the one hand, NATO declares Russian diplomatic staff reduction and simultaneously voices the wish to hold a new session of the Russia – NATO Council.”
The expulsion of diplomats, he said, worsened the operations between the Western world and Russia.
He said: “Without diplomats and constant political dialogue it would be very hard to both build real politics towards each other and strive for the harmonisation of interests and implementation of common European projects.”
On Friday Mr Stoltenberg said that NATO has “protected Allies for 70 years” but it now see |more attempts to indimidate and destabilise”.
NATO Secretary General Mr Stoltenberg called the current relationship between the alliance and Moscow “something new”.
He said: “We work with Russia to try to improve our relationship and we are in the situation where we have not been before, because we are not in the old Cold War, but we are neither in the strategic partnership we tried to build after the Cold War.”