Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko

From Voice of RussiaAlexander Victorovich, you have mentioned twice that Russia is worried by certain NATO activity. What exactly do you mean?

We primarily view NATO activity given the commitments that NATO took upon itself in the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The meaning of those commitments was that NATO had committed to not positioning its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders and refused to deploy substantial military forces long term on the territory of its new member states.

Unfortunately, we see that there are military forces being deployed in the Baltic region. In particular, on the territory of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia new military objects have appeared and NATO aircraft are patrolling the territory. And we cannot ignore that fact in our military planning.

Our position was that instead of spreading some NATO standards on those territories, which prescribe offering those states adequate protection, we could instead sit down together and agree on how we can use some common instruments in order to guarantee the necessary level of security and stability in that region. Unfortunately, the dialogue on that subject has not yielded any results yet. In particular, we continue to wait for some reaction from NATO to our proposal that those commitments that I just talked about were put in precise military and political terms. We made our proposals and hope that in the end they will be accepted.

Excerpt from interview of Alexander Grushko, Russia’s deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, by the Voice of Russia.   (photo: Ria Novosti/Scanpix)  (via Estonian Public Broadcasting)