Foreign Ministry Explains Position on NATO Expansion

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a briefing Monday Armenia’s foreign ministry spokesman Arsen Gasparian presented Armenia’s stance on NATO expansion. Below is the translated text of that briefing:

"Our position on NATO expansion is based on two basic principles of European security. First–as an OSCE member–we respect the right of each country to choose what structures to join to ensure their own security. Second–we hold that any country’s security can’t be ensured at the expense of another country.

We believe that the security in Europe is inseparable. It is based on common values and the comprehension of common fortune which determine "the European essence." The expanding Alliance and all other states must see together lest there should be dividing lines in Europe and globalism and integrity cease to remain basic criteria of European security.

NATO has pledged not to deploy its nuclear weapons on the territories of countries joining the Alliance. The major trust element is that there is common willingness to monitor the deployment and the number of the currently existing conventional forces.

We expect that the enlarging NATO Bloc will be furthering its mutually beneficial relationship with institutions in Russia. Political consultations–arms control–the upgrading of the disarmament procedure–peace advocacy–the conflict prevention and settlement are the fields wherein Russia and NATO may act coordinating their actions."

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