10:14 May. 31, 2016
Moscow swears to neutralize "NATO's confrontational schemes in the Black Sea area"
Moscow says the Black Sea will never be a "NATO's lake" and Brussels understands it. Russia accuses the alliance of conducting a confrontational policy near the country's borders. This is according to Russia's permanent rep to NATO Alexander Grushko.
"Today, NATO is seeking to transfer confrontational schemes into the Black Sea waters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said recently that the Black Sea has nearly turned into a ‘Russian lake' because of NATO's absence there. But NATO understands it perfectly well that the Black Sea will never be a NATO lake", Grushko said in an interview with a Russian media outlet.
Grushko said, Moscow would do its best to neutralize possible threats from the South. He also blamed NATO for using the Ukrainian crisis to "picture Russia as big enemy".
"Today, we see that the image of a big enemy is used to solve absolutely different geopolitical tasks of placing NATO back in the center of global politics and proving that the only way to ensure security is NATO-centrism based on strategic linkage between Europe and the United States. And for these ends the alliance needs a big enemy confronting it", Grushko claimed.
At the same time he rejected the idea of cancelling the Russia-NATO founding act as it could possibly lead to a new spiral in the arms race.
The rift in NATO-Moscow relations has been going on since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. The alliance has said it reinforces its eastern flank in response to the Kremlin's aggression.