Mindless integration of former Soviet republics into NATO entails risks - diplomat

Mindless integration of former Soviet republics into NATO entails risks - diplomat

It is risky to incorporate post-Soviet states into the North Atlantic Alliance, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said at his press conference after the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council.

"Today, I once more reminded [them] that we have reiterated multiple times that the thoughtless policy of luring post-Soviet states into NATO entails risks. And I recalled the sequence of events in May 2008, when NATO made a decision that should not have been made by definition. Such wording that Georgia and Ukraine will become NATO members must not be written down, as such wording is unacceptable concerning sovereign and independent states," he told reporters.

According to Grushko, the decisions of NATO’s Bucharest summit in 2008 concerning Ukraine and Georgia are nowadays "elevated to the rank of a state policy." Grushko recalled that then Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who was "intoxicated" with NATO prospects, "embarked on a military adventure in August."

Minister also said that NATO expansion carries grave risks for Russian security and Moscow will respond.

"The second factor that is a serious reason for the worsening of security in Europe is the process of the alliance’s expansion," he said.

In 1997, Poland was the only country having a border with Russia that sought to become NATO member, the diplomat said.

"A lot of countries have joined NATO now and their territories are obviously used to project force toward Russia from various geographic directions and for strategic depth," he said. "That seriously worsens our security and creates unacceptable risks for it, which we will counter."