Does the expansion of NATO represent a problem for Russia? What is your message to the strategic partners?
NATO is not an organization of stamp collectors. It is not an economic organization, but a military alliance. A military alliance means tanks, airplanes, nuclear equipment etc. Since our wish is peace and security, of course that we are worried when we see a military vehicle approaching our borders. Nobody would like that. Besides, we were never asked. We were always told that the main security threat comes from the South. But, for some reaseon, NATO is going East, not South, in our direction. This is a mistery we can’t explain. (...)
What will be the reaction of both, politicians and public opinion?
The issue that emerges has to do with a crisis as far as NATO's existence is concerned. What is the reason behind NATO? What are its objectives? First of all there’s the issue of providing for the defense and security of the member states. But from whom? From aliens? I don’t think so. From the polar bears in the Arctic? This is ridiculous. From tiny Iran? Israel is strong enough to face the issue, it is a nuclear power, even though nobody is willing to talk openly about it. While Iran, on the other hand, is not a nuclear power. Thus, the question: against whom is NATO building its military capacities? This lack of argument leads to the need of creating an artificial enemy. We definitely refuse to be identified as an enemy. What we are suggesting is NATO's transformation now that there are talking about entirely new prerequisites. Nowadays there are common threats to our security and we are not only talking about military ones. We are talking about terrorism, as this type of activity is increasing. (...)
How would Russia react if Georgia and Ukraine were invited to become NATO members in the future at the Summit in Bucharest?
Our stand is clear: we are against it. We were told that Russia does not the right to veto NATO's expansion. Of course we do not have the right to veto it, but what we have is our cooperation with NATO that we want to hold on to.
And what would be Russia's attitude if South Osetia, Abkhazia and Transdniestr proclaimed there independence unilaterally by resorting to the Kosovo precedent?
This is what we’ve said from the beginning: the Kosovo model is very dangerous. In Russia there may be several opinions, several points of view, but Kremlin’s stand has always been to uphold territorial unity, no matter if we are talking about Moldova or Georgia. (...)
What do you make of the possibility evoked by President Voronin that his country request joining NATO even if this would mean recognizing Transdniestr’s independence?
I would like to state once again that we uphold and respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova. If the people in Chisinau and Tiraspol find a formula of living together in the same state, Russia won’t object to it. But this formula for coexistence must take into account the Republic of Moldova as an independent state. If it announced its decision to join NATO, then Tiraspol will oppose it and we will find ourselves in front of a situation similar to that in Georgia.