MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s statements about Russian security services funding environmental campaigns against shale gas production in Europe are laughable and primitive, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoy said Friday.
“This statement is not based on anything, it’s far-fetched and laughable. If Mr. Rasmussen believes it’s a conspiracy and secret propaganda campaign, I would suggest he should replace his advisors and experts, not to make specialists laugh next time,” Donskoy wrote on his Facebook page.
The NATO secretary-general argued Russian security services are secretly funding campaigns against shale gas development and production conducted by various environmental organizations in Europe. “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Financial Times quoted Rasmussen as saying on Thursday.
Earlier, representatives of international environmental organizations Greenpeace and the WWF called Rasmussen’s statement “absurd” and “nonsense.”
According to Donskoy, the secretary-general’s statement is evidence of an approach to NGOs as means of achieving political objectives.
“We believe that such an approach is inappropriate and goes against the principles of a modern democratic state. It goes to prove that the ideology of the NATO Secretariat is developing along the lines of cold war traditions... It’s one more conspiracy theory, which, coming from the NATO secretary-general, sounds at least like an odd, absurd and primitive assessment,” added Donskoy.