The establishment of the Russia-NATO Council does not mean that Russia's stand on the question of the alliance's enlargement which is viewed in Moscow as a mistake has changed, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said in the interview with RIA Novosti on the threshold of the Russia-NATO summit in Rome.
"This concerns, in particular, the NATO's possible enlargement which we in no uncertain terms qualify as a mistake," he noted.
From Moscow's point of view, "the extension will not give anybody - either NATO itself, or its new members - any additional security." "No objective reasons for NATO's advancement to the Russian frontiers exist," the diplomat stressed.
"Whom does NATO intend to defend the new members of the alliance from? And what, in general, such defence is needed for if we are not enemies any longer and the epoch of confrontation has become a thing of the past?" - these questions are logically put in Moscow.
"As for Russia, no state in the world can remain indifferent to what is taking place on its borders," the interlocutor noted. "Of particular importance for us in this context will be observance of the obligations by the NATO countries, manifestation of reserve in the military sphere, and strict compliance with the accords in the arms control sphere, first of all with the adapted CFE Treaty," the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Russia emphasized.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said