Medvedev says no return to Cold War tensions over NATO expansion
MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed speculation that Moscow's new military doctrine would see a return of Cold War tensions in an interview published on Thursday.
Medvedev denied that NATO was singled out as the main threat to Russia's national security in a new military doctrine that he approved earlier in February. But he did stress that NATO's "endless" expansion was a real cause for concern.
"NATO is not the main military threat in the military doctrine," he said. "The issue is the endless expansion of NATO by the swallowing up of countries that were either once part of the Soviet Union or our close neighbors. This, of course, causes certain problems, because, whichever way you look at it, NATO is a military alliance."
He also said that NATO's encroachment on Russia's borders and the deployment of missiles "cannot but worry us."
"This does not mean that we are returning to the Cold War, but we have to take these things in account."
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.
Earlier this month, Romania and Bulgaria said they were in talks with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on deploying elements of the U.S. missile shield on their territories from 2015.
The move came after Obama scrapped last September Bush administration plans to deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran. Russia fiercely opposed the plans as a threat to its national security.
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