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Putin calls NATO 'Cold War atavism'

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Oct. 5, 2012, 6:40 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin sees NATO in its present shape a Cold War atavism.
© AFP

Dushanbe - Russian President Vladimir Putin sees NATO in its present shape a Cold War atavism, and wants to see the transformation of the alliance into a purely political organization as soon as possible.

"I cannot understand why it still exists today. This is a Cold War atavism to a large extent," Putin said at a meeting with servicemen from the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan on Friday.

Russia would like the alliance not to exceed its functions as stipulated by its own charter, not to expand the area of its purview and not turn into a global organization, he said.

Moscow wants to see NATO transformed as soon as possible, Putin said.

"Our NATO partners are saying they are transforming into a political organization. I wish they had transformed into a purely political organization sooner," he said.

Russia has perceived and will perceive NATO's enlargement "with justified concern," he said.

"You, as military people, understand perfectly that words are one thing but the presence of some attack systems or missile defense systems near our borders is quite another. This poses real threats to our territory. Certainly, in this case we will have to build our defense policy in a way to curb these threats," he said.

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