BRUSSELS, August 16, /ITAR-TASS/. NATO has been using the ‘Russian threat’ notion exclusively to prove the alliance is necessary, Russia’s envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said in an interview with ITAR-TASS on Saturday.
“The alliance realises Russia is not a threat for its members and generally speaking there is nobody in the East, from whom to protect the allies,” he said. “However, that “threat” justifies the efforts to build up the eastern flank, to develop the military presence in Central and Eastern Europe, in waters of the Baltic, Mediterranean and Black Seas, and to intensify manoeuvres along Russian borders.”
“In reality, they are settling purely own tasks aimed at proving the alliance is necessary, and in order to focus the trans-Atlantic union, to insist on bigger military expenses, purchases of arms and equipment,” the diplomat continued. “It is not clear, why the alliance is trying so hard to build up the existing big military potentials if its role in settlement of the crises in Iraq, Libya and other regions is not evident in fact. All the reasonable people realise as unreasonable the plants from some capital cities that the alliance is weak and even unprotected.”
“Playing with statistics data may be endless, but the fact is: NATO accounts for about a half of the global defence expenses. The American military industry is rubbing hands at the thought of coming new orders,” he said.
“Clearly, for true interests of the European security, for formation of its new architecture on the collective basis the development of the kind will cause most negative consequences - the aggravating of the existing, unfortunately, separating lines and to new lines of the kind,” he said regretfully.
“The truth is not a single “stabilising” project NATO had was a success,” he said.
“What achievements does the alliance have? Cut apart Yugoslavia, falling apart Libya, or Iraq choking from the onslaught of international terrorists? The campaign in Afghanistan is close to being over, the objective of stabilising the situation in that country is not met.”
“We can see the situation aggravates, the attacks from rebels, including international contingents, are more active, numbers of civilian victims are growing, the Afghan drug threat is expanding.”
“Today, many experts, including those at the alliance, see clearly NATO’s ambitions for global leadership are not realistic. The attempts to be playing at a time the roles of a judge and of a bailiff are bound for failure. In fact, NATO as an instrument of “cold war” does not meet the new security requirements, which demand clearly new approaches rather than use of military force for humanitarian interventions or to shifts of regimes,” the Russian official said.
“The world is changing, thus it is unlikely that in international affair the alliance will be referred to as a “source of political legitimacy”, as Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen calls it,” the Russian envoy said.
Sooner or later NATO will have to acknowledge as unpromising consolidation on the anti-Russian grounds, he said.
“They are feeling here already the heat from the threats emerging from the south. They will have to consider fighting the developing extremism in the Middle East and North Africa, the giant uncontrolled territories where terrorists and arms smugglers are, and to consider penetration of radicals into Europe. They will not be able to dump the burden of Afghanistan after 2014.”
“The reality will push NATO member countries to integrating the alliance into the international efforts, and not to have it serve interests of the narrow group,” the Russian official said.