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#43 - JRL 2006-279 - JRL Home
NATO Expansion A Huge Mistake - Lavrov

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) - NATO's aspiration to continue to expand is a mistake that will not lead to a strengthening of international security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We remain convinced that the inertial expansion does not have any just reason and does not promote the strengthening of security in any of the states entering NATO, the organization itself or, of course, Russia. In other words, NATO expansion is a huge mistake by those who invented and implement it," the minister said in an interview published by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Tuesday.

Mechanisms that allow a country to cooperate with NATO on a large range of security issues without formal accession to the organization have been developed, he said.

On the other hand, accession to NATO means that collective defense obligations are spread to new members as well, the minister said.

"A lot of questions arise over the matter. For example, who is the threat to Ukraine or Georgia? Why does Tbilisi aspire to accede to NATO as soon as possible: to contribute to NATO activity in regional security or to solve present-day tasks in bilateral relations with Russia?" Lavrov said.