Russia has slammed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military coalition for its continued focus on the “non-existent” threat from Moscow.
“Contrary to the objective interests of maintaining peace and stability in Europe … the alliance concentrates its efforts on deterring a non-existent threat from the East,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The statement added that the summit of NATO leaders in Warsaw a day earlier had put the hypothetical threat from Russia high on the agenda.
“A preliminary analysis of the results of the meeting shows that NATO continues to exist in some sort of military-political looking-glass world,” said the statement.
Leaders of the 28-nation military bloc agreed on Saturday to the alliance’s biggest military revamp since the Cold War to counter a resurgent Moscow. They vowed to unite behind a “hard-headed” policy of deterrence and dialogue with Russia.
Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, said after the summit that members agreed to bolster the eastern flank of the alliance and to “stand together” on Russia.
“The alliance is united, we stand together,” Stoltenberg said, adding, “The united message is that defense and dialogue are what our relationship is based on.”
Ties between NATO and Russia have been tense for the last two years over the crisis in Ukraine, where the government and its Western allies accuse Moscow of having a hand in the militancy in the east of the country. The Kremlin strongly rejects the claims.
Russia has also criticized NATO’s expansionist policy to include countries in the Western Balkan region, saying the move directly harms Russia’s strategic interests in the area.
Russia and NATO are scheduled to hold talks in Brussels on Wednesday.