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Russian diplomat says NATO invents phantom threats in Black Sea area

"It is far easier to fight against imaginary threats," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. NATO’s growing activity in the Black Sea area is evidence the North Atlantic Alliance invents non-existing threats thereby distracting itself from other major tasks, including the struggle against terrorism in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

"As far as NATO’s activity (in the Black Sea region) is concerned, regrettably our Western counterparts prefer to focus on virtual, non-existing threats. The same applies to cybersecurity," Zakharova said. "By saying virtual I mean not threats in the cyberspace, but those detached from the reality."

"If the North Atlantic Alliance believes that the main threat to it comes from the Black Sea region, to my mind this is a tremendous delusion," Zakharova said. "Everybody knows well enough where the most dramatic events, including the struggle against international terrorism are unfolding. Thinking of new, non-existent threats makes utterly no sense."

"Why many of our counterparts act in this way is easy to understand," Zakharova speculated. "It is far easier to fight against imaginary threats. Likewise it is far easier to present accounts to one’s own population and to demand ever greater funding."

But it is a totally different matter that the results of this "fight against windmills" make themselves felt, too, because nobody resists the real threat, Zakharova said.

"In particular, I am referring to our Western counterparts," she went on to say. "You can see for yourselves the way the struggle against international terrorism process in Syria. There were many statements by the team of the previous US president Barack Obama to the effect they were fighting against international terrorism. They gave up and left, to cut a long story short. They dropped it halfway, they spoiled a lot and they caused great harm to the process of the political settlement and to the situation in the world. That’s what can be said about the real threats and what is being done to fight against them."