Russia: NATO expansion poses risks, relation with alliance critical
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister warns that the deterioration of the situation could lead to the most dire consequences for Europe.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko considered that "the cornerstone of the NATO policy and military development is the task of deterring Russia."
Grushko told a news conference following a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Wednesday, that the US and its allies are trying to achieve superiority in all possible combat environments.
The Russian Deputy FM expressed that Moscow is seriously concerned that the scenarios of various exercises incorporate the nuclear component.
No positive agenda
The security guarantees that Russia has requested from NATO will benefit both Moscow and NATO member states in Europe, Grushko said, noting that NATO is not taking into account the security interests of others.
He said that Russia and NATO had no "positive agenda -- none at all" and warned that the continued deterioration of the situation could lead to the "most unpredictable and most dire consequences for European security."
He also pointed out that the full implementation of the Minsk agreements would not be a threat to Ukraine's security, adding that "To contain Russia, it is necessary to demonize it and to attribute to it some sort of hostile plans and intentions towards neighbors."
NATO is interested in resuming talks
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday, that the alliance is interested in resuming contacts with Russia in terms of diplomatic missions, but refuses to make any concessions regarding its future expansion.
Russia's Defense Ministry stated that Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin gave clarifications on the military aspects of the Russia-proposed draft agreement on security guarantees at the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council.
The Ministry quoted Fomin as saying that the Russian-NATO relations are at a critically low level and that "NATO's ignorance of Russia's de-escalation initiatives creates preconditions for incidents and conflicts, undermining security foundations."