Putin: NATO expansion policy is short-sighted
The United States and its NATO partners lead short-sighted policies, building up their military capabilities and expanding the alliance, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Le Figaro.
"For us this is a sign that our partners in both Europe and the United States are pursuing a short-sighted policy, they do not look a step forward - our Western partners have already lost this habit," Putin said.
Putin recalled that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, American and European politicians assured Moscow that the alliance would not expand. On the contrary, there were proposals to create a common new security system. Its formation, perhaps, would have allowed to avoid the US unilaterally withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and construction of missile defense elements in Europe, which violates strategic balance and creates risks for international security.
"Perhaps all this would not have happened. But it did, and we cannot rewind history, it is not a movie. We have to proceed from the current situation. In this respect, we need to think about what we want from the future. I think we all want security, peace, safety and cooperation," Putin stressed.
Putin urged to "stop contriving mythical Russian threats, some hybrid wars." "The only prospect is cooperation in all areas, including security issues," the president added.
The President noted that Russia is willing to cooperate, recalling his speech at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, when he called on all countries to unite their efforts to fight terrorism.
Putin noted that real cooperation with France ended before it even started, because France is involved in operations there, but it is acting within the US-led coalition. "Go figure who gives the orders, and who is not, who has a say, and what the agenda is. Russia is open to cooperation," he said.
According to the President, Russia is considering how the interests of all the countries to the south of Syria can be best served, with consideration for the concerns of all the countries that face issues in this region - Jordan, Israel and Syria. "Of course, Russia is ready to heed what the United States and our European partners have to say. However, what we need is for the dialogue to be specific and concise, instead of empty talk about mutual claims and threats. There is a need for a real effort," Putin stated.