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No Sign of NATO Giving Up Myth of 'Russian Threat' in Policymaking - Envoy

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirFlags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016.
Flags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
There are no indications that members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will abandon their policies by fomenting the myth of a "Russian threat," Russia's envoy to NATO said Tuesday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian envoy noted that the Western military bloc had refused to cooperate with Russia even in areas of common interests.

"So far, NATO continues to carry out the course that has been identified by decisions in Wales and Warsaw. Its point is to return NATO to the center of Euro-Atlantic security using the so-called Russian threat. For now there is no indication that NATO countries will recant," Alexander Grushko said in response to a RIA Novosti query.

Thus, Russia and NATO have ceased all cooperation and cannot move forward in their relations, Grushko added.

"Unfortunately, if we are speaking about NATO, NATO has deliberately stopped all collaborative projects [with Russia], nothing is happening, there is nothing positive on the agenda and there is no way to move forward," Grushko said.

The Russian envoy also said that with Russia and European countries facing similar challenges, there were still avenues for cooperation and progress.

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NATO has been boosting its military presence in Europe, particularly in Eastern European states, since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, citing Russia's alleged interference in that conflict as justification for the move.

Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in 2014 after the overwhelming majority of the Crimean population voted in a referendum to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. In April 2014 Kiev authorities launched a military operation against pro-independence militia in Donbas. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format — in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not a party to the Ukrainian conflict, and that military expansion toward Russia's borders increases tensions by threatening regional and international security.

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