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Top MP warns NATO to heed new Russian military doctrine

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - NATO should view Russia's new military doctrine as a signal the alliance needs to change its attitude if it wants better relations with Moscow, a senior Russian parliamentarian said Thursday.

Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, NATO has expanded from 12 members to 28, absorbing the majority of Moscow's Cold War allies in Eastern Europe and some former Soviet republics.

"Our partners during talks had the chance to see [the signal] when [Russia's] top leaders included NATO's expansion into the list of threats to Russia. This is not just expert opinion," Konstantin Kosachyov, who heads the Russian lower house's international committee, said after a Moscow meeting of experts from both sides that involved the NATO group of "wise men."

"This is how our people see this process. This is a serious concern hindering fully-fledged cooperation between Russia and NATO," he told journalists.

Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev approved the new military doctrine which includes the use of nuclear weapons by Russia and lists NATO's eastward expansion and U.S. anti-missile shield plans as national threats.

"If NATO is really interested in establishing a partnership with Russia, it should take these concerns into account," Kosachyov said.

He also said that discussions between Russian and NATO representatives failed to clear all the differences, but added he hoped talks would continue in Washington later in February.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen took over at the Western military bloc last year pledging to improve ties with Moscow, which were frozen after Russia's five-day war with Georgia in 2008. Russia and NATO have since resumed formal contacts.

Improvements in Russia-NATO relations have been helped by a course towards "resetting" thorny relations between Moscow and Washington taken by Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama.

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