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    Rasmussen Says Russia Has Rejected NATO's Efforts to Engage

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    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Russia on Monday of causing instability and manufacturing conflicts in its neighboring countries and of its unwillingness to build a partnership with the alliance.

    MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Russia on Monday of causing instability and manufacturing conflicts in its neighboring countries and of its unwillingness to build a partnership with the alliance.

    “We have tried long and hard to build a partnership in a way that respects Russia’s security concerns and is based on international rules and norms... Regrettably, Russia has rejected our efforts to engage. Instead, Russia considers NATO, and the West more broadly, as an adversary," Rasmussen said at a Carnegie Europe event marking the end of his mandate as NATO chief.

    Russia "has trembled" all agreements that kept peace in Europe and beyond, he added.

    “From Moldova to Georgia, and now in Ukraine, Russia has used economic pressure and military actions to produce instability, to manufacture conflicts, and to diminish the independence of its neighbors,” he said.

    Rasmussen called his term at NATO the most difficult five years for the alliance and him personally. Among the remaining challenges for NATO, Rasmussen also mentioned terrorism, and more specifically the Islamic State (IS).

    In April, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia over Moscow's alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, the claim Russia has repeatedly denied.

    Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the increasing NATO military presence close to its borders.

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