Nearly 90% of Russia's political elite opposes NATO enlargement

'In order to change the context of relations between Russia and NATO, it is necessary that the alliance leadership officially invite Russia to discuss the possibility of its entry into the bloc,' according to Aleksei Arbatov, head of the Center for International Security, IMEMO RAN.

As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, Arbatov made the remarks Wednesday at a seminar entitled 'Russia and the EU: Common Security Space.' Arbatov said it was imperative that the leadership of both sides 'direct their General Commands to cease preparing for major military action in the European theater.'

'The leadership of NATO is intent on ignoring the Russian leadership's negative views of the alliance's expansion,' Arbatov said. Such behavior, he said, was 'historically irresponsible and deeply mistaken,' and if continued would lead to serious negative consequences.

Arbatov also cited statistics according to which nearly 90% of Russia's political elite opposed NATO expansion.

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