MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. The new strategic concept that NATO is developing will bring European security close to the cold war era, if it embraces the approaches declared by the alliance in its latest documents, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said at the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security on Thursday.
"We see that the NATO countries have made a decision to work out a new strategic concept. If all the philosophical premises sealed in the [alliance’s] latest document lay the basis for this strategic concept, we will actually face a situation in the sphere of military security in Europe that will be reminiscent by its basic approaches of the cold war period that we tried to overcome by our joint efforts," the high-ranking Russian diplomat said.
Russia was mentioned 63 times in the alliance’s latest declaration, Grushko stressed. "If we remove all these paragraphs from the declaration, it will turn out that the alliance has no real security tasks formulated in the document," he said.
"The sole new element is China, which has been declared a strategic challenge for the United States. As a former high-placed NATO official said, Russia is nearby while China is far away and, therefore, a Russian threat or a threat from the East must remain the alliance’s major challenge," the senior Russian diplomat pointed out.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference on the results of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Defense Ministers held via a teleconference on February 17 that NATO’s new strategic concept would be adopted at the alliance’s summit in 2021 and would be aimed at deterring China and Russia.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on February 18 that NATO exploited the factor of ‘a threat from the East’ to keep the shaken unity in the alliance, adding that deep contradictions between members of the North Atlantic alliance on many aspects of regional security "are not a secret for anyone".