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Russian Defense Ministry: NATO needs Ukraine crisis to justify its existence

April 09, 2015, 18:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said the alliance would find an excuse to restrain Russia even if there were no conflict in ukraine

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MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. The North Atlantic Alliance needs the conflict in Ukraine to justify its existence, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday.

"We understand that today NATO needs to justify the purpose for its existence," Anatoly Antonov told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"If there were no Ukraine, there would be another reason to restrain Russia, to find a new enemy and say that everyone needs NATO," Antonov said.

He said the political crisis in Europe "allowed NATO to survive."

Antonov dismissed NATO statements that Russia is standing on the alliance's threshold. He added that Russia is not concerned over NATO exercises conducted near its borders.

West tries to distort information on Russian army

The military official also noted that the West uses "all possible means" to distort developments in the Russian army.

"Unfortunately, our Western colleagues are using all possible means to distort information on processes taking place in the Russian Armed Forces," Antonov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV Channel.

The information war began long before the events in Ukraine, and Russia is involved in it, he said.

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