MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. In conditions when NATO is building up its military potential, Russia reserves the right to take measures to protect its security, the Russian foreign ministry said in a report about its activities in 2014 and plans for middle-term perspective posted on the ministry’s official website on Monday.
"We will keep an eye on the United States’ and their allies’ steps towards building a global missile defence system and other factors impacting Russia’s security, such as the United States’ stockpiling non-nuclear strategic weapons within the Prompt Global Strike concept and its persistent unwillingness to undertake legally binding liabilities not to deploy weapons in outer space," the document says.
According to the document, Moscow is concerned over the decision the NATO Council has taken under the pretext of the Ukrainian crisis to build up its military potential and its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries, in the Baltic and Black Seas, to develop military infrastructure at NATO’s eastern borders, to expand military drills in the vicinity of the Russian borders. "In these conditions, Russia reserves the right to take necessary steps to protect its security and defend its national interests," the document underscores.
"At the same time, we think it expedient to maintain the existing channel for political dialogue within the Russia-NATO Council and bilateral contacts with representatives of key NATO countries to explain negative impacts and potential threats of changes in the existing balance of forces in Europe," the ministry said. "A full-scale dialogue with NATO on issues of security and strategic stability can be resumed only on the basis of equal rights and due practical account of our national interests in the area of security."
"In building our relations with the American side, we cannot but take account of the steps initiated by the Barack Obama administration designed to aggravate bilateral relations; practically freeze contacts in most directions and constantly increase sanctions pressure on Russia with an aim to weaken the Russian economy and create conditions for unswaying the internal political situation in the country," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The US has announced plans to reject the deployment of the fourth stage of the missile defense system in Europe and to refocus towards protection against potential North Korea missile attacks. Infographics by TASS
"We retain our right to react accordingly to all the unfriendly steps directed against us," the ministry’s report said.
"A way out of the spiral of confrontation and the return of bilateral relations to a stable condition will be possible only if Washington gives up its hostile actions against Russia and offers practical confirmation that it is ready to dialogue on the principles of genuine equality and mutual respect for each other’s interests," the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.
"We believe that the two countries bear special responsibility for maintaining international peace and stability; we remain open to contacts over the situation in Ukraine, the Syrian crisis, Iran’s nuclear programme, the settlements in the Middle East and Northern Africa as well as other themes of mutual interest," the ministry said in its report.
The report says Russia reserves the right to challenge the legitimacy of anti-Russian sanctions at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and take response measures.
"One of the top priority tasks for the Russian foreign ministry is all-round support to the activities of Russian economic operators on foreign markets," the document says. "The work of the ministry in this sphere will have a comprehensive character and will include such measures as defending legal rights and interests of national investors and exporters abroad, preventing restrictions on access of Russian goods and services to external markets, counteracting sanctions and anti-dumping procedures against manufacturers."
"For these ends, we will fully use possibilities linked with the membership in the World Trade Organization," the ministry said. "We reserve the right to apply to the WTO to challenge the legitimacy of restrictions used against our country, to take response measures like the ban on imports of certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and foods from the European Union countries and the United States that was imposed in August 2014."
According to the ministry, Russia keeps the door open to meaningful dialogue with the European Union to promote the "integration blocs" project.
"Despite the complexity of the current situation, relations with the EU, Russia’s neighbor and largest trading partner, will remain one of the priorities of the Russian foreign policy in the coming years," the document says. "We keep the door open to meaningful dialogue with EU in promoting the "integration blocs" project, ultimately forming the common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific based on the principles of equal and indivisible security."
The document also stresses that Russia will push ahead with its efforts to maintain a balanced agenda of the Council of Europe. "We are aimed at boosting the organization’s role as the leading multidisciplinary all-European cooperation mechanism providing by means of its conventional tools the unity of the legal and humanitarian space of the continent," the report says.