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BRUSSELS, April 16, /ITAR-TASS/. Additional measures to step up NATO’s military activities on land, at sea and in the air in the Baltic region and eastern Mediterranean announced by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen are at odds with the de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine, Russian Permanent Representative to the alliance Alexander Grushko said on Wednesday, April 16.
“As we can judge from his [Rasmussen’s] explanations, [this is] in the interests of defence, deterrence and de-escalation. The question is against whom NATO is going to defend itself and whom is it going to deter? Not only are these measures inconsistent with the task of de-escalation - apparently this means Ukraine - but they obviously contradict it,” Grushko told Russian journalists
In his opinion, NATO “could have assisted in the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis by urging the Kiev authorities to stop the so-called counter-terrorism operation immediately and begin a serious and deep dialogue with regions”.
“Unfortunately, this was not done. Calls to Russia to ‘stop destabilising Ukraine’ are an obvious attempt on the part of Brussels to shift the blame and hush up the unseemly role of the alliance in the unhinging of the situation in that country,” the diplomat said.
“It has yet to be determined to what extent the announced plans and their implementation will affect the military security of Russia and our allies,” Grushko said. “But any rate, all possible measures will be taken to prevent the undermining of stability and security.