Russia ready to mend ties with NATO: Military chief
Moscow, April 27 (IANS): The relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War, but Moscow is ready to repair them, a military official said.
“We are open to the resumption of a full-scale dialogue and interaction with NATO. The main thing is that this process should take place on an equal, trusting and constructive basis,” Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov said at the Sixth Moscow Conference on International Security, here on Wednesday.
He said NATO accuses Russia of being the main source of military threats, while the alliance itself is increasing the scale of military activities in countries near Russia, Xinhua news agency reported.
NATO’s eastward expansion and deployment of a missile defense system in Europe break the balance of power in the region and increase the risk of military incidents, Gerasimov said.
To make it worse, the European countries are furnishing Kiev with military assistance, provoking it to continue armed confrontation in southeastern Ukraine, the Russian General said.
“The trust between Russia and the West is catastrophically decreasing as a result,” Gerasimov said.
In his view, the lack of close cooperation between Russia and the West on anti-terrorism creates favorable conditions for the Islamic State.
A new and mutually beneficial system for European security can be formed only through joint efforts with the participation of all European states, Gerasimov said.