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Russian diplomat slams NATO for fomenting military tension in Europe

A diplomat says Moscow expects NATO response to German proposal on conventional arms in Europe

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. Moscow has been monitoring NATO’s military activities to figure out if they comply with the Russian-NATO Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, a senior Russian diplomat said at the general debate of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.  The statement was published on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Wednesday.

"Apart from placing more and more importance on nuclear weapons, NATO has also been relying on building up its military presence and activities along Russia’s borders citing a far-fetched necessity to "restrain Russia," Director of the Armaments Non-Proliferation and Control Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said. "As a result, an unhealthy atmosphere has been emerging in Europe, fraught with growing military tension."

"We will continue to monitor NATO’s activities keeping in mind the 1997 Russian-NATO Founding Act and in particular, its provision prohibiting the deployment of "significant combat troops" on member states’ territory," the Russian diplomat noted.

German proposal on conventional arms in Europe

Ulyanov went on to say that Moscow wants NATO to respond to Germany’s proposal to resume dialogue on control over conventional weapons in Europe and Russia is open for this.

Mikhail Ulyanov reminded that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier published an article in late August with the title "More Security for All in Europe: Re-launch of Arms Control" where he called to resume dialogue on control over conventional weapons in Europe.

"As we understand, this initiative comes due to the understanding of danger that the situation in the sphere of European defense may be reduced to that similar to the Cold War era," Ulyanov said.  "If so, then in our opinion this proposal deserves to be carefully studied," the diplomat said. "Although there are many "hidden rocks" here complicating the prospect of achieving agreements Russia remains open for the dialogue."

"Let’s see how Germany’s allies in NATO react to this initiative," he added.