Contacts and cooperation between post-Soviet Russia and NATO started shortly after the collapse of the USSR and deepened as Russia joined the Partnership for Peace program in 1994. The alliance began an intensive expansion to the east over the next two decades, incorporating former Soviet countries along the way. After the crisis erupted in Ukraine in 2014, Russia-NATO relations rapidly deteriorated. NATO forces heightened their activity on Russia's doorstep, threatening the country's security. Tension is growing as both sides regularly accuse each other of various violations.
NATO is not ready to resume fully-fledged dialogue on defense issues with Moscow, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Thursday.
Russia and NATO should relaunch military dialogue to avoid incidents similar to the 2015 downing of the Russian Su-24 combat plane over Syria by Turkey, Gernot Erler, German government's special representative at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) told Sputnik on Thursday.
Non-aligned Sweden, where talks of a Russian "threat" have become increasingly commonplace, is intensifying its psychological defense and preparing to join Stratcom, the NATO center for strategic communications.
The Nordic states have been pouring billions into their militaries, citing an imaginary Russian "threat." For the first time in history, Norway possesses two spy ships due to an unprecedented measure. It insists these are necessary due to Russia's accumulation of forces and increased activity in the North.
Bureaucracy is more wide-spread in the European Union than it is within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.
In recent months, the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance have pushed for greater security cooperation with the Nordic countries, including Sweden and traditionally neutral Finland. The latter has a 1,300-kilometer long border with Russia, whom the US and NATO view as their key opponent.
The Russian side poses no threats for Poland due to the country's strengthened military capacity, the Polish president's Press Service Head Marek Magierowski said on.
The Russian Defense Ministry invited NATO military experts to Moscow for a round of consultations expected to be held in September. Defense analyst Viktor Baranets told Radio Sputnik that this is a step in the right direction, adding that relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance are gradually "brightening up."
France should work with Russia on tackling global terrorism and leave NATO because the alliance serves solely to promote Washington's interests that have nothing to do with European goals and aspirations, Retired French General Jean-Bernard Pinatel, who has intimate knowledge of Russia and its history, told Radio Sputnik.
Although the North Atlantic Alliance is incapable of providing real protection to Poland and the Baltic states, some post-Soviet members of the bloc have made every effort to "revive the climate of Cold War," former French diplomat and politician Roland Hureaux wrote for Atlantico, adding that Russia poses no threat to the region.
Russia is ready to consider resuming cooperation with NATO on issues including Afghanistan, flight security and counterterrorism, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told Sputnik.
The NATO-Russia Council lacks efficiency, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian parliament's upper house, said.
Germany's Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries Gernot Erler told Sputnik that he hoped Russia and NATO would continue discussions of the crucial issues, including the technical ones, within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC).
Russia and NATO succeeded to avoid deterioration of relations following the recent Alliance's summit in the Polish capital of Warsaw, German government's coordinator for Russia policy Gernot Erler told Sputnik in an interview.
Russia wanted to discuss two major issues with NATO, the bloc's expansion to the East and the US-built missile shield in Europe, but the North Atlantic Alliance refused to engage in "constructive dialogue" with Moscow at the latest NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting, defense analyst Igor Korotchenko told Radio Sputnik.
High-ranking military officials in the US and NATO have singled out Russia, not Daesh as the greatest threat to the bloc so that they would be able to maintain excessive military spending, Irish journalist Bryan MacDonald wrote for RT.
High-ranking NATO officials did their best to present a united front at the bloc's summit in Warsaw, but experts have said that cracks are beginning to show since not every member of the North Atlantic Alliance is happy with its ever-increasing military buildup, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region, and its anti-Russian stance.
The North Atlantic Alliance has focused on dealing with imaginary threats to Europe and the US (take the overhyped, yet non-existent threat from Moscow to NATO members) instead of tackling real challenges, like terrorism, Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Alexei Pushkov told the Izvestiya newspaper.
The North Atlantic Alliance is apparently worried that its supposedly united front against Russia has in fact been falling apart at the seams as evidenced among other things by the increasing cooperation between Athens, a NATO member and Moscow in areas including energy, tourism and defense.
Some 200 citizens of New York protested on Times Square on Saturday against NATO expansion, while the Alliance's Summit was being held in Warsaw, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
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