MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement that the alliance’s countries never agreed to refrain from eastwards expansion don’t stand up to criticism, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.
"It is impossible to listen to Stoltenberg, it is simply dangerous for one’s health. Because this man has uttered things that have nothing to do with reality too many times and the structure he is actually heading has indulged in various things - from spreading fake information to taking aggressive actions - too many times that it is simply impossible to listen to yet another interpretation of what is going on. They don’t stand up to criticism," she said in an interview with Russia’s TV Channel One.
Zakharova said earlier that NATO’s actual policy runs counter to its earlier statements. On Monday, she posted on her Telegram channel a video aired by German media outlets (ARD and Der Spiegel) of February 2, 1990, where the then German Vice Chancellor Hans-Dietrich Genscher and US Secretary of State James Baker vowed that NATO has no intentions to expand its defense zone to the east.
Der Spiegel reported on February 18, citing archive documents, that the Western countries had promised the Soviet Union’s leadership in 1991 not to expand NATO to the east. According to Der Spiegel, the classified document concerns a meeting of the US, British, French and German foreign ministers in Bonn on March 6, 1991.