Russian Foreign Ministry: NATO Uses Ukraine To Justify Its Own Existence
April 11, 2014 • 7:57AM

The Russian Foreign Minister, in a statement issued Thursday, took great exception to the threat issued by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a speech delivered in Paris, yesterday. Rasmussen threatened "grave consequences" and "severe economic sanctions" if Russia didn't pull back the troops it has near the Ukrainian border.

The Ministry said in response:

"The constant accusations against us by the Secretary General convince us that the alliance is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to rally its ranks in the face of an imaginary external threat to NATO members and to strengthen demand for the alliance ... in the 21st century."

The statement further points out that despite Rasmussen's claim of "growing militarization of Russia," the Russian defense budget is still one-tenth that of all of the NATO members combined.

See map: NATO Expansionism Encircles Russia · MAP

The statement goes on to say that NATO member states pretend to be leading advocates of international law, but at the same time turn a blind eye to glaring misdeeds by extremists in Ukraine that led to the split of the country's society, reports Russia Today. Russian diplomats noted that they are not surprised that NATO tries to present itself as an elite club with outstanding political legitimacy, actually ignoring universal international institutions, such as the UN Security Council, and not respecting the generally recognized right of a nation for democratic expression of will and choice.

Furthermore, all Rasmussen's remarks over the recent few months have been confrontational and he has not offered "any constructive agenda" for the rapid normalization of the situation in Ukraine "through the launch of an inclusive political process, based on democratic values, respect for human rights and minorities, which are so dear to Anders Fogh Rasmussen."

The Foreign Ministry's statement concludes:

"We believe that statements of this sort do not promote a de-escalation of tension around Ukraine. The active use of double standards directly threatens security and stability in the region."

For more on Russia's response to NATO, see: Background: Russia's Warnings Concerning NATO and BMD Systems