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Moscow calls plans for NATO’s event on Spitsbergen provocative

April 19, 18:01 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. There are no such issues in the Arctic region that require NATO’s participation to be resolved, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement ahead of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s meeting scheduled to be held on Spitsbergen.

Russia believes that "all member states of the 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty should be interested in keeping Spitsbergen an archipelago of peace and good neighborliness," the statement reads.

"Taking into account NATO’s current course aimed at constraining Russia, which is accompanied by unprecedented military activities near our borders, attempts to include Spitsbergen in NATO’s orbit and hold NATO events there run counter to the spirit of the 1920 Treaty [the Spitsbergen Treaty]," the ministry noted. "We can only consider these attempts to be provocative."

The ministry pointed out that the meeting’s agenda "particularly includes the discussion of the links between geopolitics and the Arctic’s future." "We are confident that there are no such issues in the Arctic region that require NATO’s participation to be solved," the statement adds. "Raising tensions is not in the long-term interest of the Northern European countries as it weakens their security instead of ensuring it," the ministry said.

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