Islam Times 2 Jul 2022 052022000000Sat, 02 Jul 2022 05:53:26 +0430 5:53 -------------------------------------------------- Title : Russia dismisses claims of NATO being ‘defensive alliance’ -------------------------------------------------- Islam Times - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the claim of NATO being an exclusively defensive alliance is “ridiculous and disgraceful.” Text : He made the remarks on Friday while addressing students and teachers at the Belarusian State University, in response to recent statements by a number of NATO members’ officials. “Recently, a representative of the White House once again reiterated that Russia should not be afraid of NATO and that no one should be afraid of it at all, because NATO is a defensive alliance. But it is already ridiculous to hear adults say such obvious nonsense. I would say, it is simply disgraceful,” Russia’s TASS quoted Lavrov as saying. Pointing to the history of NATO’s establishment and its confrontation with the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the Soviet Union, he said both the Warsaw Treaty and the Soviet Union are gone but “NATO has moved eastward five times.” “Who are they defending themselves from then?” he asked rhetorically, adding, “When someone pushes forward, establishes control of territories, and deploys armed forces and military infrastructure there, it is not exactly what is called defense. It’s just the opposite.” The remarks come as the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid wrapped up on Thursday with the bloc’s decision to strengthen its forces along the eastern flank while also officially inviting Sweden and Finland, which share borders with Russia, to join the alliance. “NATO is a defensive alliance and poses no threat to any country,” reads part of the declaration of the Summit. The declaration also named Russia as a “direct threat” to NATO members’ security, noting that the military alliance “does not seek confrontation and poses no threat” to Russia. At the same time, it went on to threaten to respond in a “united and responsible way” to any threat from Moscow. ‘Joke of the century’ Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also rejected the notion of NATO being only a defensive alliance. “NATO is a ‘defensive’ alliance? Joke of the century,” he tweeted on Friday while also sharing a combination of images portraying NATO’s military intervention in several countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In a separate tweet, the Chinese official also pointed to the role of the US and its allies in the continuation of the war in Syria and its devastating effects on people’s lives. “[The] US and its allies continue to fuel the war in Syria. More than 300,000 civilians have died in the conflicts according to UN statistics, 1.5% of Syria s population,” he wrote on Friday, also sharing a photo of war damages in Syria with a note which read “who is the threat to peace?” NATO members had also alleged that China poses a “challenge” to the bloc’s “interests, security, and values.” Speaking in a daily briefing on Thursday, Zhao stressed the futileness of hyping up the so-called “China threat.” “NATO has extended its reach to the Asia-Pacific region in an attempt to export the Cold War mentality,” he said, urging the bloc to stop making baseless accusations and provocation against China, abandon the outdated Cold War mentality, and stop dangerous acts that disrupt Europe and the Asia-Pacific.