Thursday, January 24, 2008


Nato provokes Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has raised the issue of Nato's expansion in Europe which is aimed at building up its military potential around Russian borders rather than strengthening European security, he said on Wednesday.
Russia has been concerned by Nato's eastward expansion and US plans to deploy missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Lavrov told reporters in Moscow, "We are certain that the geographical expansion of Nato cannot be justified by security concerns."
"But it is clear that Nato is building up its military potential around our borders and its new members continue to increase their defence budgets," he said.
Lavrov said Nato's "open-door" policy was inherited from the Cold War and would only antagonize relations with Russia.
"This policy cannot resolve any security problems," he said.
Nato has backed recent bids by Russia's former Soviet allies, Georgia and Ukraine, to join the alliance, a move that has angered Moscow.
The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the country would have to take "appropriate measures" if Ukraine were to join Nato.

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