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Diplomat: "bogeyman stories" prompt NATO to adopt strategy of countering hybrid threats

December 07, 2015, 17:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO noted that NATO countries were the first to start applying hybrid operations

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© Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP

MOSCOW, December 7 /TASS/. The foreign ministers of NATO countries adopted a strategy of fighting hybrid threats at their meeting in Brussels on December 1-2 under the impact of propaganda horror stories, which the Western media is circulating, Alexander Grushko, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO, said during the Moscow-Brussels video conference on Monday.

"On the whole, the strategy is aimed at strengthening NATO’s potential to react to the so-called ‘hybrid threats’ by using not only military but asymmetric means," Grushko explained.

"This theme has become widespread in NATO. It is the result of propaganda bogeyman stories, which have been circulating in Western media recently. We, in fact, know that NATO countries were the first to start applying hybrid operations," Grushko said meaning NATO bombardments of Yugoslavia in 1999.

Commenting on the recent invitation to Montenegro, a republic of the former Yugoslavia, to join the alliance, Grushko said that it was a geopolitical decision, which is unlikely to bring any benefits to NATO or European security.

"It is a geopolitical concept. There will be no real gains for NATO or European security from extending an invitation to Montenegro. It is clear that no one is threatening Montenegro," the Russian diplomat said.

"It is an attempt to push for the agenda from an era of confrontation," Grushko said.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO believes that a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council is still possible under the current circumstances.

It should be thoroughly prepared but it is still unclear how it should be held, Grushko said on Monday.

"NATO has made no official proposals (to hold the meeting) as of yet. But we discussed this theme during our contacts with NATO representatives who are members of the Russia-NATO Council," the Russian diplomat said.

"NATO’s secretary general is right when he says that the Russia-NATO Council continues its existence as an institution," Grushko said adding it was necessary to thoroughly prepare the Council’s meeting under the current circumstances.

"If we are going to hold such a meeting, we should have a clear idea what ‘value added cost’ it has. As for today, it is unclear because NATO is departing from partnership and switching over to a policy of deterrence. It is abandoning all the projects, which the Russia-NATO Council used to discuss," Grushko added.

"They concern fight against terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, including the training of anti-drug experts for Afghanistan and Pakistan and technicians for maintaining Mi-17 and Mi-6 helicopters," the Russian diplomat said.

"But we are going to consult with the ambassadors. Russia has never tried to evade a dialogue. But such a meeting (of the Russia-NATO Council) will require thorough preparations and also the understanding of what results we should seek to achieve," Grushko concluded.

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