MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) — The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that NATO has revived its 'Cold War'-type propaganda against Moscow to justify the alliance’s military buildup and defense spending.
In a Sunday interview with French newspaper Midi Libre, Rasmussen said the alliance would draw up new defense plans in the face of alleged "Russia's aggression" against Ukraine, and again encouraged NATO countries to increase their defense spending.
"It's all done to justify the alleged need to 'rally its ranks' in the face of an imaginary external threat to NATO, to increase military expenditure and to boost the demand for the alliance in the 21st century," the ministry said.
Rasmussen said last month at the Atlantic Council in Washington that NATO intended to step up cooperation with its Eastern partners, including Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. He specified the alliance was not considering expansion, but was rather continuing "to take steps within our open door policy," welcoming "European countries that fulfill the necessary criteria."
The NATO chief said the threats, the alliance was facing, made increased defense spending a necessity in order to provide significant military assistance to Ukraine, likening the collective defense budget to an insurance policy for member states.
NATO has already been placing additional forces in the Baltics after the political crisis, erupted in Ukraine and Crimea, reunited with Russia in March. The representatives of the Baltic states said they were prepared to make the necessary investment.
In early June, US President Barack Obama called on all NATO members to step up their defense spending, citing the need to protect Eastern European countries and requested the Congress to approve a $1 billion plan to boost US military presence in Eastern Europe.
On April 1, NATO ended all practical cooperation with Russia over Ukraine, only maintaining contacts at the ambassadors' level and higher.
Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko suggested that the alliance was trying to use to its maximum the crisis in Ukraine in order to prove its relevance in the current security environment."