Former NATO chief says Putin wanted Russia to be a part of the transatlantic alliance

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 04, 2021, 04:51 PM(IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government outside Moscow Photograph:( AFP )

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George Robertson highlighted that Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe

George Robertson, former UK defence secretary who led NATO between 1999 and 2003, has revealed that Vladimir Putin wanted Russia to join the military alliance but he did not want his country to go through the usual application process. Also, he did not wish for his country to stand in line “with a lot of countries that don’t matter."

Robertson highlighted that Putin made it clear at their first meeting that he wanted Russia to be part of western Europe. While recalling an early meeting with Putin, he said that Putin asked, "When are you going to invite us to join Nato?"

To which, Robertson said, "Well, we don’t invite people to join NATO, they apply to join Nato." On this, Putin said that Russia will not stand in line with a lot of countries that do not matter.

Also read | 'No reason to pretend': Russia shuts NATO missions amid spying row

Meanwhile, Russia in October decided to close NATO's offices in Moscow after the European military alliance had expelled members of Moscow's delegation for alleged spying.

"NATO has already greatly reduced its contacts with our mission," Lavrov said. The move comes after NATO declared it had expelled eight members of the country's NATO mission as they allegedly were "undeclared Russian intelligence officers."

Russia's foreign minister Lavrov said, "Following certain measures taken by NATO, the basic conditions for common work no longer exist," while informing that the country would be suspending work of its official mission to NATO in Brussels.

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