NATO Secretary General warns Russia against using energy as foreign policy weapon

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO HQ, December 4, 2012

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Interfax:  . I take it very seriously to actually move forward towards a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia. I think it’s in our mutual interest. And in the word strategic partnership also lies the notion that we can disagree on certain areas while we move forward in other areas.

I think it’s in Russia’s interests to develop a strong partnership with NATO. Firstly, because there are a lot of ares where we share fundamental security interests – Afghanistan, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, just to mention a few. These are the concrete interests. It’s in Russia’s interests to attract foreign investments, to stimulate positive economic development in Russia. We know it makes the whole business and investment climate more attractive, if investors feel that overall it is a secure environment. If we develop a true strategic partnership, investors will also be okay. It’s a more attractive business and investment climate.

And Russia is a major energy exporter, supplier of energy to Europe. And of course it’s in Russia fundamental interests to make sure that this energy export can take place in an atmosphere of stability. Of course, if the Europeans fear that Russia want to use energy as a weapon in its foreign policy, then of course the Europeans will look for alternative suppliers, and basically that’s not in Russia’s interests. So, it’s in Russia’s interests to ensure a very positive relationship with NATO countries. Still NATO allies represent a formidable economic force in the world. And of course it’s in Russia’s interests to cooperation with that zone of economic strength. 

Excerpt from interview of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen by Interfax. (photo: NATO)

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