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23 Mar, 2012 10:54

Russia, NATO should overcome instinct of mutual mistrust – Medvedev

President Dmitry Medvedev says it is time for both Moscow and NATO to get rid of “phantoms of the past” that hamper fully-fledged partnership between the sides.

"The time has come to draw our positions closer and make joint decisions aimed at the creation of a more stable and fairer world order," Medvedev stated at the conference on Euro-Atlantic security in Moscow.The president reiterated the stance over “indivisibility and equality of security” voiced back in 2010 during the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon. “Attempts to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of others destroy the very idea of building a community of states and undermine the foundations for cooperation,” Medvedev observed. Such “oases of security” would be unviable and would not stay long. “The entire existing security system may be buried under their debris,” he added.Commenting on the major stumbling block in Moscow-NATO relations – the planned US missile defense shield in Europe – Medvedev once again stressed that Russia needs reliable guarantees that the system would not be aimed against its strategic nuclear forces. The defense system must correspond with the aim of its creation: it should counter possible missile threats coming from outside of Europe, the Russian leader stressed. However, “no one has explained so far to me why we should believe that the new European defense system is not aimed against us.”The dialogue on the issue is continuing and no doors have been shut yet, Medvedev noted. “However, [time] is passing and reaching mutually acceptable agreements is in our common interests,” he said.Addressing the conference, the president also stressed that threats of foreign military intervention into the affairs of other states are unacceptable. “The number of those who propose to use weapons as an argument to sort out problems has increased lately,” Medvedev said. Furthermore, such ultimatum-style statements come not from experts, but from officials, he pointed out.Such tendency is “extremely dangerous.”The Russian president warned that attempts to get round the international law in the situations with, for instance, Syria or Iran would lead to anarchy. "Someone wants to quicker turn Syria into a modern democratic country; others want to deal shortly with the Iranian nuclear program. Indeed, we are also greatly concerned over many processes, including these issues. But some defective logic and war psychology can often be seen behind these events," Medvedev observed.Historical heritage as well as cultural and religious features of individual countries should be considered when addressing such problems as the Syrian conflict or the Iranian program.“We must not allow propagandist attacks to undermine or suppress the rule of law,” Medvedev said.