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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Russia Says Niet to NATO

Moscow dismissed on Thursday comments by a U.S. administration official suggesting that Russia could become a member of NATO.

Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said on Tuesday that Washington would consider Russian membership in the military alliance, which was founded in 1949.

He said NATO should be open to European democracies, adding that "if Russia meets the criteria and can contribute to common security, and there is a consensus in the alliance, it shouldn't be excluded."

Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said Gordon's comments "are not serious enough" and that the U.S. was trying to "take advantage of our weaknesses" to advance into a territory "that we once occupied or controlled or influenced."

He also said NATO would never be able to reach a consensus on Russia's membership as long as former Soviet republics Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were members. Russia has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of joining the alliance even if it was invited, and is quite happy with cooperation in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council, RIA Novosti reports.

"IF Russia meets the criteria" now isn't that just something? There isn't a country on the planet that contributes more to world security than Russia. However, that's not what they mean. Russia is a European democracy, one of the few.

But NATO membership is not a prize to be sought after, not a privilege, not a mark of prestige either. In fact, membership in NATO entails such stupidities as being involved in NATO's many wars. So who needs them?

NATO needs Russia more than Russia needs NATO. NATO has also been trying to take advantage of the good will Russia demonstrated by expanding into the former Soviet sphere of influence and former Soviet Republics. This is unacceptable. The "offer" was more based on what they can get out of Russia yet again.

Russia to test its nuclear deterrent with supercomputers

The United States was unable to detect the presence of Russian strategic submarines in the Arctic before they test-launched two ballistic missiles, a Russian intelligence source said on Wednesday.