NATO can’t exist without an enemy – Russian diplomat
NATO needs enemies so it can justify its existence, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said on Thursday, commenting on the Western bloc’s recent meeting in Lithuania.
“Expansion is one of the instruments used by NATO countries to maintain confrontation,” Grushko told Russia’s Channel One. “Therefore, unfortunately, history has forced us to conclude that NATO cannot exist without an adversary. Otherwise, it would lose all meaning.”
Grushko stressed that the admission of Ukraine into the US-led military bloc would have “catastrophic consequences for European security, Ukraine, and the alliance itself.” At the same time, Western countries use the prospect of NATO membership as a way to control Ukraine’s domestic politics, the diplomat argued.
Although NATO has refused to grant immediate membership or a concrete accession timetable to Kiev, the bloc’s members affirmed at the summit in Vilnius on Tuesday that the country would be invited to join in the future. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine was “closer to NATO than ever before.”
Russia views NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat to its own national security, and has warned that the delivery of heavy weapons and other military aid to Ukraine by NATO members makes the alliance a de facto participant in the conflict.
Western countries insist that NATO is a strictly defensive alliance, posing no threat to Russia.