Speaking at a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council, Vladimir Putin reproached the North Atlantic Alliance for its disregard of Russian interests. The President stressed that, in response to the expansion of NATO, Russia will be forced to take measures to protect its security.
Responding to questions from reporters at the end of the meeting, President Putin noted positive changes in the development of political dialogue and practical cooperation. Among the most significant examples of such cooperation were support for United Nations efforts to stabilise the situation in Afghanistan and progress in the work to improve the interoperability of armed forces of Russia and NATO and in the area of civil emergency planning.
However, the Russian head of state also pointed to the serious obstacles in the way of development of relations between Russia and NATO: the continued expansion of NATO, the creation of a military infrastructure on the territory of new members, the crisis surrounding the CFE [Conventional Forces in Europe] Treaty, Kosovo and plans to deploy in Europe elements of the United States' of America's strategic missile defense system.
After the meeting, Vladimir Putin made a press statement and answered journalists' questions.