Deputy Russian Foreign Minister said the current relations are reminiscent of Cold War era.
Russia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have completely ceased cooperation on civil and military matters, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Russian state media RIA Novosti on Monday.
“NATO has abandoned a positive agenda in its relations with Russia. It doesn’t exist,” Grushko said, adding that the current relations are reminiscent of the “state of affairs under which NATO was created during the Cold War.”
These remarks come as current and former U.S. military officers said Sunday the nuclear superpowers need to talk more, as the silence and bickering back and forth could “stumble them into an armed confrontation that, by mistake or miscalculation, could lead to nuclear war.”
Meanwhile, the Russian diplomat warned NATO against military conflict with Russia, saying “all sensible people hope it doesn’t happen”, as it would be “a humanitarian catastrophe. I’m sure they understand that in Washington and Brussels.”
The Western alliance suspended military and civilian cooperation with Russia in the spring of 2014 in response to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Several disputes, including a naval standoff in the Kerch Strait and the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, have further strained ties between Russia and the 70-year-old alliance.
The relations have also taken a recent toll with regards to the situation in Venezuela, where the U.S. interventionist agenda has been met with a strong resolve from Russia and China. To aggravate the issue, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, during his Friday official visit to Chile went on a rant “warning” Latin American countries to deal with Russia and China. The remarks were not taken lightly by the Chinese nor the Russians.
Grushko, Moscow’s permanent representative at NATO between 2012 and 2018, stressed that Russia will not enter an arms-race with the bloc to increase its military budget, as they bet on “economic, accurate and effective” measures. In his opinion, the renewal of the alliance would be possible through the establishment of a true strategic collaboration with Russia and opening dialogue lines.