MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. A number of Western countries have been hoodwinked by Euro-Atlantic solidarity, which poses a direct threat to security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Tuesday.
"Some countries felt they could bolster their status, if they declare themselves ‘frontline states,’ and press for special attention for that in the organizations they are part of," he said at a session titled "The Future of Diplomacy and Political Communication" at the Valdai International Discussion Club. "They are trying to impose this ‘frontline’ logic on the entire EU, and on the whole Western community. This [Euro-Atlantic] solidarity misinterpreted [by them] or built on false assumptions, is becoming a direct threat to security today, because it erodes the security situation and worsens international relations," the senior diplomat emphasized.
According to Grushko, some countries proceed from the premise that "a future world without normal allied relations with Russia is impossible." There is an understanding of the fact that there can be no security against Russia and without Russia," Grushko noted.
NATO presence near Russia’s borders
NATO crossed the red line by continuously expanding its military presence near Russia’s borders, Grushko said.
According to him, there is no reason for NATO to expand its military presence near Russia’s borders. "For years, European security was based on measures of restraint. There never was a military aspect in our relations with neighbors, who have now taken the most radical stance towards Russia - the Baltic states, for instance," the senior Russian diplomat pointed out. "Because of NATO, we now have to deal with a military aspect, it was their choice, it was them who crossed the red line," Grushko added.
"And now Russia has begun to take these countries into consideration in its military planning," he went on to say. "Attempts to use our neighboring countries as a staging ground to display force will lead to nothing," he said.
The Russian deputy foreign minister noted that a number of serious issues remained in Moscow’s relations with the Baltic states. "It concerns, first and foremost, our demands that they respect basic human rights, particularly the right to education and the right to citizenship," Grushko noted. "Up to 600,000 people in Estonia and Latvia are deprived of citizenship only because they are Russian-speakers, which is a blatant anachronism," Grushko stressed.
NATO will not be able to create isolated havens of tranquility, and the security system can only be built with Russia’s participation, he went on.
According to Grushko, joint security can only be maintained through cooperation in the fight against new threats and challenges. "Neither NATO nor the European Union will be able to create some isolated havens of tranquility," he stressed. "These attempts are doomed to failure, not because we like or dislike that. That’s just a reality, and a stable security system can only be built with Russia’s participation."
"These attempts are doomed to failure, not because we like or dislike that. That’s just a reality, and a stable security system, which implies both respect for legitimate interests and willingness to jointly respond to new threats and challenges, can only be built with Russia’s participation," he pointed out.
"We will do our utmost to make sure that our defense is one hundred percent guaranteed," Grushko added.
Russia-NATO Council meeting
It is impossible to call a meeting of the Russian-NATO Council in the wake of Russian diplomats’ expulsion, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on the sidelines of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s session.
According to him, by expelling Russian diplomats, NATO shot itself in the foot. "By dealing a blow on the office responsible for providing correct information about what is happening in the Alliance, NATO is rather punishing itself than us," Grushko noted. "After all, if they don’t want dialogue, there won’t be dialogue, because as everyone knows it takes two to tango. In this case, the Alliance will damage its own security," the senior Russian diplomat added.
"This is at odds with the numerous statements that the NATO secretary general and other officials have been making, claiming that NATO is interested in maintaining political dialogue and calling another meeting of the Russia-NATO Council," Grushko noted. "How is it possible to call a meeting under the current circumstances?" he added.