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NATO not a threat to Russia - Secretary General Rasmussen

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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday the West is no threat to Moscow and that Russia's new military doctrine is off target, the Polish Radio Foreign Service reported

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday the West is no threat to Moscow and that Russia's new military doctrine is off target, the Polish Radio Foreign Service reported.

"NATO is not a threat to Russia. And NATO will never invade Russia. Nor do we consider Russia a threat to NATO," Rasmussen told an audience in Warsaw on the 11th anniversary of Poland's admission to the defense alliance. "That is why Russia's new military doctrine does not reflect the real world."

He said he would continue to work for a strong, trustful NATO-Russia relationship.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said his government supports NATO efforts to improve relations with Russia, but still expects solidarity and security from NATO.

"Central Europe wants NATO to develop relations with Russia as a partner pragmatically and with full respect to the legitimate security concerns of both sides," Sikorski said.

Rasmussen said in December NATO was ready to discuss Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's ideas, but there was no need for a new security treaty, which was officially presented in November.

The NATO chief said there are enough documents ensuring Euro-Atlantic security, and that conflicts happen because some countries do not comply with the principles enshrined in these documents.

Medvedev previously dismissed speculation that Moscow's new military doctrine would see a return of Cold War tensions. He denied NATO was singled out as the main threat to Russia's national security in a new military doctrine that he approved in February, but he did stress that NATO's "endless" expansion was a real cause for concern.

Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, NATO has expanded from 12 members to 28, absorbing the majority of Moscow's Cold War allies in Eastern Europe and some former Soviet republics.

In February, Romania and Bulgaria said they were in talks with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on deploying elements of the U.S. missile shield on their territories from 2015.

The move came after Obama scrapped last September plans by the Bush administration to deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland due to a reassessment of the threat from Iran. Russia fiercely opposed the plans as a threat to its national security.

WARSAW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) 

 

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