Russia: safeguarding national security irrelevant to 'cold war'

Updated: 2007-12-14 11:29

MOSCOW -- Allegations that Russia is reverting to the "cold war" times are baseless, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday in an interview with BBC.

"It is strange to hear claims that we are returning to the 'cold war' times. We are doing everything necessary to guarantee our national security, be it the patrol flights of our bombers or the cruise of our naval squadron in the Mediterranean," Lavrov said.

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At the same time, Moscow sees that "strategic nuclear forces and the US ABM system are being moved to Eastern Europe without any reasons whatsoever", he said.

The NATO infrastructure is also being gradually moved closer up to the Russian borders and these processes are not disturbing anybody in the West, the Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying.

"However, empty talks about a 'cold war' comeback begun right after we decided to resume something that was done in the past, something that is absolutely normal and within the framework of what was previously done," Lavrov said.

"We are not threatening anybody," he added.

"We have muscles, but we are not flexing them. We have closed down our military bases in Cuba and in Vietnam and, in reply, we got even more NATO military bases next to our borders ... In other words, we are relaxing our muscles while the other side is tensing theirs," he said.

Russia suspended fulfilling obligations in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty on midnight Wednesday according to a law signed by President Vladimir Putin.

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