Speaking as NATO leaders gathered in London for a summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Moscow is ready to cooperate with the alliance on a number of issues.
Russia considers NATO expansion eastward a threat to its national sovereignty, but expects the interests of common European security will prevail and the alliance will return to dialogue, Putin said, speaking at a meeting with senior Defense Ministry officials in Sochi, a Russian Black Sea resort.
Putin added that stereotypes are not helpful for “making effective decisions in the rapidly changing conditions of the modern world. At the same time, we have repeatedly expressed our readiness to cooperate with NATO and to jointly withstand real threats, including, as we know, international terrorism, local armed conflicts, and the danger of uncontrolled proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
NATO was established during the early Cold War to counteract the Soviet Union, but now “there is no Soviet Union” or Warsaw Pact, but NATO still exists and develops, said Putin.
NATO and Russia remain divided over a number of issues, including separatists along Ukraine’s border with Russia, the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, and Russian interference in Western elections.