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NATO’s aggressive deterrence unable to influence Moscow’s policies — senior diplomat

Sergey Ryabkov has big doubts the coming period will be calm for Russia's Nordic neighbors

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. NATO’s assertion of the aggressive deterrence course in relations with Russia will in no way influence Moscow’s policies, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday.

"The Madrid summit asserts the alliance’s aggressive deterrence course in relations with Russia. This will in no way influence our policies. In any case, will be ensure our security 100%," Ryabkov told the media.

Ryabkov has big doubts the coming period will be calm for Russia's Nordic neighbors.

"Ultimately, they (Finland and Sweden - TASS) give away part of their foreign policy and defense sovereignty to Washington and other senior partners in NATO," he said.

"We are aware of the speculations about Euro-Atlantic solidarity, which are being used to cover up the alliance’s aggressive plans in relation to Russia. We find this regrettable. NATO's rhetoric is clear to us. The new strategic concept, in which they are going to describe Russia as a threat to the alliance, will have nothing to do with real life. The alliance poses a threat to us. But we will do our utmost to ensure that our security and the security of our allies should be guaranteed under any conditions, regardless of any waves of expansion, regardless of any agreements that could be reached on the eve of the Madrid summit among Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki," Ryabkov said.

He noted that all these actions caused nothing but regret.

"We condemn NATO’s policy, which is irresponsible and ruinous to the European security architecture, or what is still left of it," Ryabkov concluded.

Agreements with Ankara

Finland and Sweden on May 18 filed applications to join NATO. As it was expected, they were supposed to get invitations to join the alliance at the NATO summit in Madrid, but Turkey's veto blocked this process for some time. Eventually, on June 28, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg held negotiations in Madrid.

As a result of the Stoltenberg-initiated talks, in the presence of the leaders of the three states the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland put their signatures to a memorandum enabling Stockholm and Helsinki to join NATO. The memorandum also concerned such issues as the sale of weapons to Ankara and the fight against terrorism. Erdogan's office told TASS that Turkey considered the signed document as Sweden’s and Finland’s desired step that paveds the way for their entry into the alliance.