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Diplomat says Russian threat to NATO myth

June 06, 20:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A Russian threat to NATO is simply a myth, which gives a possibility to pursue the policy that NATO pursues, and at the same time to solve other strategic tasks, says Russia's NATO ambassador
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© EPA/VALDA KALNINA

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. Threats to NATO from Russia, to which the Alliance repeatedly refers, is a myth, Russia’s NATO Ambassador Alexander Grushko told Rossiya 24 television on Monday.

A Russian threat to NATO "is simply a myth, which gives a possibility to pursue the policy that NATO pursues, and at the same time to solve other tasks of strategic nature," he noted.

Grushko said this myth is used as an external factor to substantiate that "NATO is seen as an additional band to fix unity of the West". The ambassador said Alliance’s rhetoric was not substantiated. "If we take a look at regional balances, NATO is playing there some unclear game, as if the NATO countries themselves are some states having no army, having nothing...," he said.

"All these games of NATO’s fearfulness, they must end sooner or later, as it is difficult to live all the time in the smoke of an ideological campaign built on nothing," Russia’s permanent representative to NATO said.

NATO’s drills in the Baltic states

NATO’s drills in the Baltic states, in particular the ongoing BALTOPS exercises, pose no threat to Russia, Grushko said.  

"What we are seeing today in the Baltic states, as a matter of fact, is nothing but attempts towards force development with the hostile policy pursued by NATO in the recent time. I would not say that it is a direct threat for Russia nut, nevertheless, it obviously creates serious risks as we see an absolutely new military reality forming along our border," he said.

He said Russia will analyze consequences of NATO’s drills "from the military point of view" in the light of the risks posed by NATO’s actions. The alliance’s military activity "is profoundly changing the military situation in the region," he noted.

The Russian diplomat warned that Russia will provide a military technical and political answer to NATO’s actions at its eastern borders. "Russia, as is known, can ensure its security very efficiently," Grushko stressed.

The BALTOPS-2016 international military exercises involving 17 countries began on Monday near the Hanko Peninsula in southern Finland.

No plans to attack Poland

Russia is making no plans to attack Poland, while statements about such intentions are absurd, Grushko said.

"Recently the [NATO] secretary general visited Poland, and during these visits the Polish side was making statements that now Russia knows that an attack against Poland is an attack against NATO, which is completely absurd, as they are discussing the problem that does not exist," he said.

"There are no plans to attack Poland," the ambassador stressed. Grushko also said some statements concerning NATO exercises in Baltic States "are just shockingly direct".

He also warned about the danger of seeing Alliance’s statements materialize. "The policy (of NATO) lives in surrealistic reality, and the most dangerous thing is that it now starts taking shape of military planning and military preparations carried out on territories along our borders," Grushko said.

He said NATO’s decisions that are now materialized as exercises could soon acquire a more dangerous nature. "We know that additional measures on buildup on the eastern flank are prepared for the summit," he said.

No changes of NATO's position

Moscow sees no signs of possible changes in NATO’s position towards Russia and calls not to slide back to the Cold War-era schemes, Grushko said.

"I see no signs that NATO is going to change its position [towards Russia]," he said. "The prospects are extremely complicated," Gurshko said. "Partly, it is linked to the fact that NATO has given up all the previous programs and projects of cooperation [with Russia]," he added.

He added that Russia’s interaction with NATO turned out to be frozen in a "political refrigerator". "I do not see any signs that NATO may change its stance," the diplomat said adding that the sides’ main task was to avert the process of rolling back to "Cold War" schemes.

"At present, we can see that NATO is trying to offer some measures to Moscow but, in our view, they are absolutely inadequate to what NATO is doing," Grushko said. "If NATO could give up its military planning, which is hostile to Russia, we could hold more serious negotiations on how to jointly improve our common European security space," Grushko concluded.

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