NATO replacing policy of partnership with Russia with policy of deterrence - Russia's Permanent Representative to NATO

NATO is switching from partnership to deterrence in relations with Russia, Russia's Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said.

This is the way in which decisions made at the meeting of NATO members states' defense heads in Brussels on June 24-25 should be interpreted, he said.

"This meeting has become another [example of] proof that NATO is switching from a policy of partnership to a policy of deterring Russia. Unfortunately, the political line we have observed in the past 18 months is nailed down in the sphere of military building and planning," Grushko said during a teleconference with Brussels on Tuesday.

"The technical decisions passed at the NATO Council meeting should be assessed namely this way," the diplomat said. It was announced during the meeting that NATO rapid response forces were to increase to 40,000 servicemen, he said.

"The plans to create by the end of the year six coordinating headquarters cells in Baltic countries, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria have been confirmed. It has been stated as well that NATO will study the possibility of creating additional cells - three countries were mentioned, these are Greece, Hungary and Slovakia," Grushko said.

The resolution of the Iranian nuclear problem will be "the moment of truth" for NATO in regard to its reasons for placing the missile defense system in Europe, Russia's Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said.

"We know that the European segment of the missile defense system was placed under the pretext that it is necessary to defend Europe and allies from the Iranian nuclear threat. We hope that this issue will be removed from the international agenda as a security-related issue and then the moment of truth will come for our partners - why this system was created," he said.

Russia's Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko currently sees no case for renewing a constructive relationship between Russia and NATO.

"Today there is no objective case that would allow the putting of the Russia-NATO relationship back on the constructive track with a wave of the hand," he told reporters on Tuesday.

At the same time the diplomat said there is still a chance of cooperation with the alliance if it reviews its role in international relations.

"If NATO finds its niche, if NATO is prepared not to put its interests above those of the entire international community but provide support for international efforts, I think then there will be opportunities for efficient cooperation over a whole host of areas, at least, whatever has to do with the fight against terrorism, against extremism," Grushko said.

Read more: NATO will never invade Russia - McFaul

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