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article imageRussia: Russia will respond to NATO expansion, U.S. missiles

By Andrew Moran     Feb 25, 2010 in World
Moscow - A top Russian military official and an Ambassador believe they must respond to NATO's eastward expansion in Europe and the US implementations of its missile defense system. However, the US Secretary of State said Russia has nothing to worry about.
On Wednesday, Russia’s top military official General Nikolai Makarov said his country will most likely respond over their concern about NATO’s eastward expansion, despite members of NATO attempting to downplay the extension, according to Xinhua. Russia is also cautious about the United States' plans to install elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
The Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces said in an interview with Russia Today that nations around the world should tackle these issues together, work together and trust each other instead of creating and strengthening military blocs near the borders of Russia, “This means we have to take appropriate measures in response.”
Makarov also stated that there are general concerns that the US missile defense system is directed against Russia, although the system was officially designed to defend air strikes from Russia, “Last year we withdrew more than 600 tanks, about 600 armored vehicles and about 600 pieces of artillery from the Kaliningrad region. In return we're getting a buildup of the missile defense system. Double standards alarm us.”
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made assurances that Russia should not fear NATO’s eastward advancement but, according to Russia Today, Russian Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said he wants more than just words.
“While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them. We want a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that produces concrete results and draws NATO and Russia closer together,” said Clinton at a Washington hotel ballroom on Monday.
However, Rogozin thinks Clinton failed to answer any of the key questions or concerns that Moscow has with the US and NATO, while addressing a list of complaints his country has against NATO, “A unilateral world, NATO-centrism, the alliance's spontaneous expansion eastwards and refusal to recognize the principle of integrity and security.”
The Ambassador added that the US and NATO’s failures to address the interests of Russia and its allies are reminiscent to that of the Cold War, notes Xinhua.
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