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Russian ambassador sets condition for dialogue on arms control with NATO

The dialogue will be maintained if the alliance stops strengthening its eastern flank

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. If NATO wants to maintain dialogue on arms control with Russia, it should stop strengthening its eastern flank, Russia’s Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko told TASS.

"The situation in the arms control sphere has been rather complicated lately," he noted. "The main difficulty is that it is unreasonable to urge Russian to advance the use of the relevant tools and at the same time continue military buildup based on the Cold War era plans."

"If NATO countries are actually ready to invest in the mechanisms of arms control, then they should first and foremost abandon their plans to strengthen the alliance’s eastern flank as well as their attempts to achieve military superiority in order to restrain Russia," Grushko said.

The Russian diplomat pointed out that this was the only way to "start a meaningful dialogue on ensuring military security."

Threats from the East

NATO is seeking to deliberately politicize the problem of military exercises to give the appearance of threats coming from the East, Grushko said. 

"Each country has its own practices of training armed forces," he said. "Inspections NATO keeps on speaking about are not prohibited. On the contrary, they are envisaged by the Vienna document."

Russia "issues relevant notification via the OSCE communications channels voluntarily," the Russian diplomat stressed. "Moscow calls meetings of military attaches to tell them about the purposes of drills, their duration and areas of deployment."

"As a matter of fact, this problem is artificially politicized as NATO is deliberately politicizing other Russian military practices. It is being done only to substantiate the reality of threats from the East although all sober-minded people in Europe begin to see that it is a phantom threat which doesn’t exist in reality," Grushko underscored.