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Russian Defense Ministry says NATO expansion hurt European security

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. NATO’s eastward expansion hurt the security of the European continent, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

“The strengthening of NATO didn’t go without leaving a mark on Europe’s security,” Fomin said on Monday at a briefing for military attachйs and representatives of foreign embassies accredited in Moscow.

He listed the events, which, among other things, weakened European security.

“In 1999, an unauthorized UN military operation was carried out against Yugoslavia,” Fomin said. “As a result of the bombing of Belgrade, innocent civilians were killed, and the country’s economy was disrupted.”

The collapse of Yugoslavia led to another round of NATO expansion as it accepted Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia, he said. All the while, the West kept assuring Russia it harbored no aggressive plans against it, he said.

“Moscow believed these statements, although it froze engagement with NATO in 1999 in connection with the military solution of the crisis in Yugoslavia,” Fomin said.

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