Russia says NATO plans in Afghanistan ‘catastrophe’

NATO’s plans in Afghanistan resulted in a catastrophe that the international community must deal with its consequences, the Russian defense minister says.

NATO is consistently pulling its forces to Russian borders amid calls for military deterrence of Russia, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Saturday.

“Amid the calls for military deterrence of Russia, NATO is consistently pulling its forces to our borders,” the Russian defense chief stated in response to a statement by German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

“The German defense minister must know well how such moves in the past ended for Germany and Europe. There can be only shared security in Europe, without infringements on Russia’s interests. But it is NATO that is unprepared for an equitable dialogue on this issue,” Shoigu pointed out.

NATO’s deterrence plan in Afghanistan resulted in a catastrophe, the Russian defense chief stressed.

“Moreover, the implementation of NATO’s deterrence plan in Afghanistan ended in a catastrophe that the entire world has to deal with now,” Shoigu added.

On October 21, the German defense minister stated in a live broadcast of the Deutschlandfunk radio station in response to a question about whether NATO was considering the scenarios of deterring Russia in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, including in the airspace with nuclear weapons that the military bloc should send Russia a clear signal that the alliance was ready to use such means to produce a deterrence effect in advance and discourage anyone from attacking Baltic areas or NATO partners in the Black Sea. Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed that this was NATO’s underlying idea and it would be adapted to Russia’s current behavior.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in a televised interview with NTV channel on Saturday NATO is living in accordance with the guidelines of the Cold War, focusing its main efforts on deterring the so-called “Eastern threat”.

“Having come this evolutionary path, NATO has actually found itself in the situation of 1949, and nowadays it lives under the Cold War schemes. The main efforts are focused on parrying the so-called ‘Eastern threat’,” the deputy minister added.

On October 6, NATO announced it was reducing Russia’s mission from 20 staffers to 10. The accreditation of eight diplomats was revoked and two vacancies abolished. The alliance asked the Russian diplomats to leave Brussels by the end of October. On October 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Russia was suspending the operation of its mission to NATO altogether. Also, the activity of NATO’s Military Liaison Mission and Information Office in Moscow will be paused.

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