Russia not seeking confrontation with NATO - Defense Ministry official

Russia is not seeking confrontation with NATO but in fact favors the development of cooperation with the alliance, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said while addressing defense attaches from NATO countries on Saturday.

"I would like to specifically address my counterparts from the NATO countries to ask them to convey my following words to their capitals: we are not seeking confrontation with the alliance, and we favor the development of cooperation," Antonov said at a news briefing for foreign defense attaches summing up outcomes of a major inspection of the Russian armed forces' combat readiness.

"The NATO countries conduct exercises, your planes fly along Russian borders, and your ships come very close to Russia's coasts," Antonov said.

"We do not fall into hysterics over your exercises. We don't tell you that you are going to war with us tomorrow. We behave calmly in relation to your exercises. So why do any inspection and any exercises conducted in the Russian armed forces cause an outburst of informational war?" he said.

Antonov asked the NATO defense attaches to stop scaring themselves with surprise inspections and exercises of the Russian armed forces. "You just scare themselves. I tell you with all responsibility today that we are not going to attack anyone. We simply don't need this," he said.

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