‘Russia warned that issue of Ukraine's membership in NATO will explode sooner or later’ — MFA Russia
Issue of assurances
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko believes that relations between Moscow and NATO will no longer be the same. In his opinion, there is even a threat of a direct confrontation, but the Russian Federation is counting on the sanity of the North Atlantic Alliance.
“But I would like to remind you that in our agreement on security assurances, which we proposed to conclude to the alliance, it was just about returning to the timing when the founding act was concluded,” Grushko noted.
He assured that Moscow would continue to insist on assurances of non-expansion of the alliance to the east. It is time for Western countries to realise that Moscow has legitimate security interests.
“For us, if we talk about Russia's long-term security interests, certainly, the issue of assurances will remain key for the foreseeable future,” said Grushko.
The deputy minister of foreign affairs could not give an accurate forecast on how relations between Russia and NATO will develop further:
“If this issue of assurances is resolved, then it will be possible to think about some new architecture of relations with the alliance and with other organisations that exist today,” the diplomat added.
NATO “still has common sense”
Grushko believes that everything the North Atlantic Alliance did after the Cold War ended in disaster. In it, the West fancied itself a winner and decided that it could establish the world order itself.
“As for the actions of NATO, they are well known. Everything that NATO does ends in catastrophes, now I am talking about the Cold War period, where it is more or less clear why the alliance existed and what functions it performed, but after the Cold War, the history of the alliance is the history of wars, aggressions, interventions,” the diplomat stated.
Regarding the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled the following:
“We have warned many times that this is a ticking mechanism, sooner or later it will explode, the situation must be radically changed,” TASS quotes Grushko.
According to him, Moscow still has some concerns about NATO's activity in Ukraine:
“We are extremely concerned about the topic of arms supply programme [to Ukraine], everything in this situation is very dangerous. There are no guarantees that there will be no incidents, there are no guarantees that these incidents can escalate completely in the unnecessary direction,” Grushko said.
Nevertheless, Moscow positively assesses NATO's statement that there is no military intervention in the situation in Ukraine in its plans. According to Grushko, this indicates that the alliance “still has common sense”.
The accession of Ukraine to the EU is “mind-boggling”
Grushko also commented on the possibility of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. President of the country Volodymyr Zelensky, we will remind you, signed a corresponding application. It was received according to a simplified procedure, registered and is being considered.
“The issue of accession of Ukraine to the EU is now ‘mind-boggling.’ I think that accepting such a nationalist state where Nazi groups rule is self-destructive for the European Union itself,” the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed.
Grushko added that the European Council would stop existing if Russia was excluded from it.
“The West is destroying its own institutions and rules that were accepted by Russia too as guarantees of stability. Only new rules can fix the situation, not brandishing sanctions,” he claimed.
Also, Grushko paid attention to the activity of the USA in Europe. In his opinion, the States are trying “to prevent the autonomy of the European Union in the military and political area.”
“We look at the European Union’s ambitions to gain military and political independence, create its own military potential calmly enough,” the representative of the foreign ministry stressed.
Army and navy are Russia’s friends
Nowadays Russia’s army and navy are its allies, Grushko claimed. However, instruments of diplomacy shouldn’t be ruled out in such a layout.
“We have always supported political and diplomatic solutions, not military, not military and technical solutions. By the way, we have always warned that if this is impossible to solve politically by consensus, based on a balance of interests, we will have to take those measures we consider necessary, then it will be late to ask why we did this,” the diplomat reminded the audience.
In his opinion, despite the anti-Russian policy of Western countries, the country’s isolation was excluded — real life shows it.
Realnoe Vremya continues following Russia’s special military operation in Donbas Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on 24 February. Read more about it in a special report of the online newspaper.