In NATO enlargement West ignored Russia’s interests despite good relations, Putin says

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MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Even in times of having a good relationship with Moscow, Western countries did not care about its interests when enlarging NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised interview on Rossiya-24 channel.

“As for NATO’s enlargement and the advancement of NATO infrastructure towards Russia’s borders, this is a matter of paramount significance as far as the security of Russians and Russia goes,” the president noted.

Putin recalled the two waves of NATO’s expansion to the east, which took place when “relations between Russia and the collective West were quite satisfactory, if not partner-like in the direct, good sense of the word,” but all of Moscow’s concerns were ignored.

“I do not want to use harsh words, but they simply spat upon our interests, and that’s that,” the president remarked.

Putin repeated that the West used that approach at a time when relations with Russia were good.

“What does that mean? It means that they put their geopolitical interests above the interests of other nations, regardless even of the nature of their relations with those countries,” the Russian president emphasized.