“A pretty powerful fist was forming there, a powerful military infrastructure,” the Russian official responded to a reporter’s question about the bloc’s recent decision to create new multinational battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Regarding this, Peskov recalled the current instruction of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to the Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, to prepare and present proposals for measures to strengthen the western flank of the country.
“These two processes can be seen on the same plane, much to our regret. Russia was never the initiator. We were not moving towards NATO. NATO was approaching us, thus creating dangers and concerns for us,” he said.
Peskov stated that Russia is not committed to predicting whether the changes in the world may lead to the collapse of NATO, and considered that the “romantic period” in relations between Moscow and the NATO Atlantic is over.
In this regard, he recalled the Russia-NATO summit, held in Italy in 2002, after which a declaration was signed with plans to build relations between Moscow and the bloc.
“All of this is gone,” he said, and clarified that “(NATO’s) daily work, the routine relations consist of NATO being created and conceived as an instrument of confrontation and continues to perform those functions.”
According to Peskov, NATO cannot play any other role as a result of its very nature, hence Moscow’s treatment of it.