Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the alliance, which last week celebrated its 70th anniversary with a summit in London, was now looking to expand beyond its geographical zone of responsibility. She condemned NATO leaders for focusing on what she described as the “the made-up Russian threat” while turning a blind eye to other regions of the world.
Her comments came after the member states once again designated Russia as one of the major security threats and called for boosting the policy of deterrence and dialogue towards Moscow.
Ms Zakharova said: “NATO continues to pursue the policy adopted and confirmed at the Wales, Warsaw and Brussels summits, which is aimed at raising tensions and ensuring NATO’s dominance in all areas – on the ground, in the air, at sea and in the cyber space.
She continued: “I would like to point out that their total military spending constitutes more than half of global expenditure and exceeds Russia’s by more than 20 times.
“NATO is increasing its activities in the field of information and communication technologies and cutting-edge technologies.”
She said this only added to a growing number of questionable positions taken by NATO as it continued to place expanding defence capabilities to deter Russia at the top of its “dangerous” agenda.
She insisted Russia had no intention of attacking NATO but accused the alliance of destabilising Europe.
Defence analysts said Russia’s efforts to undermine Western democracies through cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and covert operations had given NATO a renewed sense of purpose.
The US military has also put countering China and Russia at the centre of national defence strategy, shifting priorities after focusing on the fight against ISIS militants.
US Major General Barre Seguin said: “We’re going into an era of strategic competition in peacetime. The alliance has reorientated.”
Maj Gen Seguin said the US was send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War to underscore Washington’s commitment to NATO.
He said: “This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the US commitment to NATO.”