According to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Grushko, NATO has destroyed all possible formats of cooperation with Russia, including on Afghanistan, and will most likely only increase its anti-Russian policy after the Afghan disaster, Sputnik reports.
“Yes, the alliance has destroyed all formats of cooperation, including on Afghanistan. The price for this geopolitical game, which has nothing to do with security interests, ultimately had to be paid by the Afghans,” Grushko said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.
The end of NATO’s decade-long mission in Afghanistan may lead to the revival of the “Russian threat” policy since “searching for the evidence of its own relevance” has always been part of NATO’s history, according to the diplomat. As examples of such behaviour, Grushko named operations in former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan, and Libya.
“In the light of the catastrophic consequences of these operations, the bloc was faced with another existential crisis, which is customarily solved by returning to the origins. So, the concept of the ‘threat from the East’ saw the light of day again. Ukrainian coup and following events, which had no relation to the core interests of the alliance, were used as an ideological justification for returning to the original purpose of 1949. In this regard, the end of the Afghan story, the era of large-scale operations, may soon lead to the re-emergence of the ‘Russian threat’ rhetoric,” the diplomat explained.
Grushko also mentioned that everyone should be interested in ensuring that citizens of the Russian Federation and the EU are not subject to additional encumbrances during mutual trips because of political issues.
“We believe that, despite the presence of a number of difficult technical issues, we have every chance to agree […] I would not like to see a political moment in this process, as it is seen in the history related to the certification of the vaccines, where the factor of political inhibition, unfortunately, plays an obviously negative role on the part of the EU,” the Deputy Minister concluded.