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Russian Defense Ministry says NATO aims to deter, not engage with Russia

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin stated that the deterioration of relations between Russia and NATO began earlier than 2014

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. NATO has focused on the military deterrence of Russia while it used to prefer engaging in joint projects, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

"The current deplorable state of relations between Russia and NATO can be explained by the fact that the alliance has often resorted to using hybrid methods to contain Russia, combining dialogue with a build-up of military preparations," Fomin said on Monday at an unscheduled briefing for military attachйs and representatives of foreign embassies accredited in Moscow. "In recent years, the emphasis has been on military deterrence, while earlier more attention was paid to cooperation projects that appealed to the alliance."

He said that the deterioration of relations between Russia and NATO began earlier than 2014.

"After the end of the Cold War, the Russian Federation has repeatedly made attempts to find new forms of engagement with NATO, to create a stable, equal system of European security for all," Fomin said. "It would be wrong to believe that the deterioration of Russia-NATO relations began in 2014."

"The declared goals of equal cooperation by the alliance were not fulfilled much earlier, in fact, immediately after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact," he went on to say. "At the same time, Russia was then unprecedentedly open to constructive partnership with the West and carried out a voluntary demilitarization of the country on its western borders."

Russia also withdrew its troops from the Warsaw Pact countries, the deputy minister said.

Fomin stressed that the meeting with the foreign diplomats aimed to bring the Russian Defense Ministry's assessments of the status and nature of engagement between Russia and NATO over the past two decades.