Medvedev doubts NATO’s ability to protect Europe

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Russia’s president said on Wednesday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is ill-equipped to address the security problems facing Europe.

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Tensions between Russia and the Western military bloc have been on the rise in recent years, with Moscow’s opposition to NATO’s ongoing expansion and U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe.

Addressing the Russian Press World Congress in Moscow, Dmitry Medvedev said: “I have no reason to believe that the European security system is entirely universal. As for NATO, it is ill-equipped to ensure European security.”

He said a new European security treaty needs to be drafted to address the challenges facing the continent.

“A universal European treaty must be drawn up, in which every European state would take part. Not as states associated in unions and blocks, but exactly as states, sovereign entities.”

He proposed that European leaders hold a summit to discuss the issue.

On the U.S. presidential elections, set to take place in November, Medvedev said: “We will work with any administration, we have no alternative. The responsibility our countries bear for the international security is enormous.”

Although there are major disputes holding back bilateral relations, “irrespective of who comes to power in the White House, Russia is counting on constructive friendly dialogue.”

He said he views the future of relations with Washington with “moderate optimism.”