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18 Feb, 2010 15:39

NATO’s new strategy of global use of force worries Russia – Lavrov

Moscow is concerned about NATO’s new strategy which allows the alliance to use force all around the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“Cold War stereotypes remain strong in Euro Atlantic policies and NATO is continuing its expansion. At the same time it is developing a new strategy,” the top diplomat said Thursday during a meeting with Russian NGOs.

“One strategy option would see NATO have global reach and the possibility of using force worldwide. This does not exactly comply with the UN charter and of course that concerns us,” Lavrov added.

Meanwhile, NATO hasn't welcomed the latest actions of Russia, as President Dmitry Medvedev and Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh signed a deal on building a joint military base on Abkhazian territory on Wednesday. NATO has not recognized the legality of this deal.

At the same time, the alliance is working on a new military strategy which will allow NATO to use force globally.

The idea of a new strategic concept was voiced at the NATO summit in Strasbourg and Kehl in April 2009. A team of 12 – the so-called Group of Experts – was appointed by the organization’s Secretary General to work out the document which is supposed to set the alliance’s tasks for the next decade and outline ways of solving them.

The drafting and final negotiation phases are scheduled for summer and autumn this year. Before that, the Group of Experts has been holding seminars and discussions on the issue.

Despite recent developments, NATO has a genuine interest in retaining good relations with Russia, said Dmitry Evstafyev of the National Center for Foreign Policy.

“I think all the NATO Secretary Generals whom we have seen over the past years were quite serious about relations with Russia, but I think that at this point NATO has a real desire to have good relations with Russia because of the situation in Afghanistan,” he said. “NATO cannot afford to have bad relations with Russia at this time.”

Earlier in February, the group – led by the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright – arrived in Moscow to gauge Russia's stance on the alliance's new strategy. The twelve met with Lavrov and the leadership of the Russian Security Council.