Russia says NATO’s Vilnius summit marks return to ‘Cold War schemes’

Russia says NATO’s Vilnius summit marks return to ‘Cold War schemes’

Country says it will strengthen its security to mitigate risks arising from NATO's military planning

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that NATO’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania marked the alliance's return to the thinking and "schemes" of the Cold War era.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said the West "protects the interests of 1 billion" -- the population of the Western countries -- and fights for its hegemony, trying to stop the formation of the multipolar world, including with military means.

"For the West, the 'rules-based order' is an usurped prerogative to violate international law. The outcome of NATO's actions is well known – the proliferation of hotbeds of instability, the destruction of states, rampant terrorism, unpunished war crimes, blood of civilians, including children, endless flows of refugees," it said.

The alliance proved its incapability to adapt to the new geopolitical situation and demands in the security domain and the US and its allies are also trying to contain forming centers of the multipolar world, it added.

The ministry also accused NATO of hypocrisy, pointing out that the alliance accuses Russia of being a threat while increasing its military presence and building military storage facilities near Russia’s borders, training for offensive actions against Russia in military exercises.

The diplomatic service pointed out that the number of troops in areas surrounding Russia increased to 300,000 and no one denies that air defense systems are deployed against Russia.

"NATO consistently lowers the threshold for the use of force and strengthens the nuclear component in military planning," it said.

Ukraine became the spearhead of NATO's fight against Russia and was promised membership and long-range weapons, it said.

At the same time, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova are next in line to join the alliance's ranks. Finland and Sweden were accepted in an accelerated manner, and the Arctic is being militarized.

"The Middle East and Africa have been declared a zone of strategic interests where Washington and its allies are trying to impose their own orders and suck out resources according to proven neocolonial patterns.

"NATO is expanding its tentacles in the Indo-Pacific region under the fictitious pretext that the development of the situation there 'may directly affect Euro-Atlantic security'," the ministry said.

According to the ministry, many countries are "seriously concerned" about NATO’s policy, actions and military construction, which "directly contradict the objective tasks of forming a new just world order without artificial lines, dividing states into friends and foes."

"Security can only be indivisible, and it cannot be strengthened by ignoring the security of others. No matter how far the geopolitical plans of Washington and Brussels extend, the world will not become a 'NATO globe'," it said.

The ministry stressed that the results of the Vilnius summit will be "carefully analyzed."

"Taking into account the identified challenges and threats to Russia's security and interests, we will respond in a timely and appropriate manner using all the means and methods at our disposal. In addition to the decisions already taken, we will continue to strengthen the military organization and the country's defense system," it said.

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