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NATO not a threat to Russia - U.S. State Secretary Clinton

RIA Novosti


WASHINGTON, February 23 (RIA Novosti) - NATO's expansion does not threaten Russia, the U.S. state secretary said in a speech on the alliance's mission on Monday.

"While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them," Hillary Clinton said, disagreeing with Russia's new military doctrine that lists NATO's eastward expansion as a threat to the country's security.

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.

Clinton also said she wants "a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that produces concrete results and draws NATO and Russia closer together."

Russia's new military doctrine approved by President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in February also includes the possibility of using of nuclear weapons by Russia and lists U.S. anti-missile shield plans as a national threat.

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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