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Russian foreign minister doubts NATO sincerity after Baltic leak

RIA Novosti

15:14 09/12/2010

MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed concern over NATO's integrity after the revelation of the military alliance's plans on defending the Baltic states against Russia.

The latest batch of U.S. embassy cables released by WikiLeaks shows NATO drew up plans in January to defend the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania against any possible attack by Russia.

"The question arises as to when NATO was being sincere," Lavrov said. "When they talk to us on developing a partnership or when they resolve contradictory issues among themselves behind closed doors?"

"We have posed these questions and we expect to get answers. I presume we have the right," Lavrov added.

Russia's top diplomat also said that NATO's plans were being developed in December 2009 at the same time as the first high-level Russian-NATO Council meeting since the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

"So with one hand, NATO openly agrees to develop joint cooperation documents on a ministerial level, and with the other hand they make a decision behind our backs to defend themselves from us," Lavrov went on.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO did not consider Russia as an enemy, and that the alliance itself did not pose a threat to Russia.

"We want to move ahead in our relationship and we want to preserve and maintain the positive spirit of the partnership that took place in Lisbon [during the Russia-NATO summit]," Rasmussen said.

The NATO head declined however to comment on the WikiLeaks release in question.

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