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Russian Defense Ministry Official Briefs Foreign Military Attachés on Origins of ‘Deplorable’ Relations with NATO

Dec. 29, 2021 (EIRNS)—On Dec. 27, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel-General Alexander Fomin delivered a briefing to foreign military attachés in Moscow, in which he said that the current deplorable state of relations between Russia and NATO can be explained by the fact that the alliance often resorted to using “hybrid methods” to deter Russia, combining dialogue with a build-up of military preparations. “In recent years, the emphasis has been on military deterrence, while earlier more attention was paid to cooperation projects of interest to the alliance,” he told them.

“Since the end of the Cold War, the Russian Federation has repeatedly made attempts to find new forms of interaction with NATO, to create a stable, equal system of European security for all. It would be wrong to believe that the deterioration in NATO-Russia relations began in 2014,” Fomin said, according to the 8-page transcript attached to the Defense Ministry’s press release.

“The declared goals of equal cooperation by the alliance were not fulfilled much earlier, in fact, immediately after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. Given that Russia was then unprecedentedly open to a constructive partnership with the West and carried out a voluntary demilitarization of the country on its western borders. An unprecedented, in scale and timing, withdrawal of troops from the Warsaw Pact countries has also been carried out.”

Fomin made the observation that following the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, the alliance has grown significantly and in fact gained a number of advantages which he enumerated:

“First, the bloc’s borders moved more than 1,000 km to the East, which provided it with the ability to use non-strategic weapons to engage targets on Russian territory. For example, the minimum flight time from air bases in Estonia to St. Petersburg has been reduced to a few minutes…

“Secondly, a significant number of infrastructure facilities on the territory of Eastern European countries have passed to NATO’s disposal, which has expanded the possibilities for the deployment and transfer of troops. ...NATO gained access to ports in the Baltic and Black Seas, expanding the operational capabilities of the alliance’s naval forces.”

Fomin’s presentation revolved around both the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which declared among other things that NATO and Russia were no longer enemies, and the Rome Declaration on 2002, which established the NATO-Russia Council and set into motion the mechanisms for cooperation between Russia and the alliance, which Fomin listed in detail. “But the signing of the Rome Declaration does not at all mean that all previously assumed obligations have been fulfilled by the alliance,” he asserted.

The Defense Ministry press release includes a link to the translated transcript of General Fomin’s speech.

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