Medvedev says NATO not main military threat to Russia

22:01, February 25, 2010      

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Russia's new military doctrine does not identify NATO as a primary military threat, but Moscow is concerned by the alliance's persistent eastward expansion, President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

"Our military doctrine does not treat NATO as the main military threat. It is about the never-ending enlargement of NATO through absorbing the countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union or happen to be our closest neighbors," Medvedev said in an interview with the French magazine Paris Match that was published on the Kremlin website.

Medvedev said the NATO move definitely led to certain problems because it is a military bloc.

Russia has its own defense strategy and armed forces tailored to fit a certain configuration, the president said.

"If a military alliance keeps on moving even closer to our borders, if missile defense or something else is being reconfigured, it is a good enough reason for us to be concerned," Medvedev said.

"I think this is an absolutely open and correct position. It does not mean that we are sliding back to the Cold War, but we must take this into consideration," he said.

Medvedev said Russia and NATO were also facing challenges that they should tackle together, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and drug trafficking.

A new Russian military doctrine approved by Medvedev earlier this month defines NATO enlargement and the deployment of missile defense systems as Russia's main external military threats.

Source: Xinhua
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