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Russian NATO ambassador: sanctions have never been Russia’s weapon

March 06, 2014, 3:04 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
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BRUSSELS, March 06, 2:58 /ITAR-TASS/. Sanctions have never been a Russian weapon, Alexander Grushko, Russia’s Permanent Representative at NATO, said on Wednesday after an ambassadorial meeting of the Russia-NATO Council.

“You know, sanctions are not our weapon. It is obvious that each time sanctions only drive the situation into a dead end,” he said. “We depend on each other too much, we are interdependent not only with our European partners, interdependence between Russia and Ukraine is still bigger. That is why, all those who are brandishing the bugbear of sanctions must first of all stop and think what a boomerang they would get back. Any such solutions, naturally, in no way strengthen the readiness for further cooperation. They only weaken it.”

According to Grushko, it had never been typical of the Russian side to work on emotions. “We hope the NATO countries would not toss the baby out with the bathwater,” he said. “We shall analyze what was adopted by NATO concerning cooperation within our Council and shall draw corresponding conclusions.”

As for political dialogue, in his words, contacts with NATO “will be continued in this or that format,” the efficiency of the political dialogue would depend on NATO to a greater extent.

“Any attempts to impose any ready positions agreed within NATO would ruin the culture of dialogue and would give no positive impetuses or signals for its continuation and expansion,” the Russian NATO ambassador noted. At the same time, he stressed that not a single NATO project served “the interests of either of the sides.” “They all are aimed, first of all, at counteracting common threats for both Russia and NATO, and the entire Euro-Atlantic space of security, which we consider indivisible,” he added.

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