Russia disturbed by NATO's endless expansion

Medvedev warned that Russia would not remain indifferent if NATO continued to expand and reconfigure missiles near its borders.

Russia disturbed by NATO's endless expansion

Russia's new military doctrine does not identify NATO as its major threat but Moscow is disturbed by the alliance's "endless enlargement", President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published on Thursday.

Russia has made future NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, two former Soviet republics, a 'red line' in its relations with the West. It said in the new doctrine, published on Feb. 5, that one of the "main external threats of war" came from the alliance's eastward expansion to Russia's borders.

"NATO is not seen as the main military threat (to Russia) in the military doctrine," Medvedev said in an interview with French weekly magazine Paris Match.

"The issue is that NATO's endless enlargement, by absorbing countries that were once part of the Soviet Union, or who are our immediate neighbours, is of course creating problems because NATO is after all, a military bloc," he said.

Medvedev's commments clarify the stance towards NATO set out in the military doctrine, which reiterated Moscow's long-standing fears of encirclement by the alliance.

Medvedev warned that Russia would not remain indifferent if NATO continued to expand and reconfigure missiles near its borders, according to a transcript published in Russian on the Kremlin.ru website.

"This can't but disturb us," Medvedev said, adding that it did not mean Russia was returning to the thinking of the Cold War, when NATO was the Soviet Union's biggest foe.

Eighteen months after Russia's brief war with pro-Western Georgia, Moscow's relations with the alliance remain tense. NATO members have shown little enthusiasm for Medvedev's call to create a new, umbrella European security treaty.


Reuters

Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2010, 16:57
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