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BRUSSELS, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow wants to establish a zone of Russian influence near western borders and supports “frozen conflicts” to this aim, the outgoing secretary-general of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.
“My concern is that it is in Russia’s interests to establish new, protracted, frozen conflicts in the region,” Rasmussen told journalists in Brussels. “Russia has used economic pressure and military action to produce instability, to manufacture conflicts and to diminish the independence of its neighbors.”
In particular, Rasmussen said, Russia backs the “frozen conflicts” in Moldova, Georgia’s breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as in Crimea and Donbass, in eastern Ukraine.
The NATO chief said the military alliance would never agree to the emergence of a new “frozen conflict” in eastern Ukraine, urging the member-states to make every effort to ensure the peaceful solution of the Ukrainian crisis.
Rasmussen said Russia should hold a dialogue with NATO if it chooses this way itself. He also said Moscow poses no threat to NATO.
Last week, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, said the North Atlantic alliance exploits the Ukrainian crisis to promote its own geopolitical interests, adding that NATO’s role in Ukraine is exceptionally destructive.