Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused NATO of trying to establish a global alliance in the image of Nazi Germany with Italy and Japan in the 1930s. Speaking to public television, Putin accused the US of creating new alliances, which he believes gives Western analysts the right to argue that the West is building new axes. Putin said that the establishment of a global NATO alliance was an aggressive act and not a defensive one, which would destabilize the international security balance. He also denied that Russia and China are forging a military alliance, though he acknowledged that there is cooperation in the technical-military field.
Putin maintains that Russia does not hide its military relations with other countries and that it is all transparent. He confirmed that Russia has been holding military exercises with China and other countries, but rejected the accusation that such a strategic relationship threatens third countries. Putin and his Chinese colleague, Xi Jinping, made this clear in the joint political statement issued during the former’s state visit to Russia earlier this week.
In the interview broadcasted on Saturday, Putin announced an agreement with Belarus for the tactical nuclear weapons deployment on its territory. Belarus is a country that shares a border with Ukraine. Putin’s statements have been criticized globally as irresponsible and inflammatory, given the heightened tensions already existing. NATO, however, assured that it would not be dragged into an arms race, but would continue to improve its own defensive capabilities to protect its member states. NATO also remains committed to dialogue and cooperation with Russia.