News ID: 125859
Publish Date : 02 April 2024 - 21:20

Putin Ally: NATO ‘De-Facto Party’ to Ukraine War

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- A powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that NATO was basically fighting Russia in Ukraine and that the U.S.-led military alliance had helped organize strikes on sovereign Russian territory.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, one of Putin’s most powerful allies, said that the 75 years of NATO history since its founding on April 4, 1949 had shown it to be a long term source of “danger, crisis and conflict”.
“The North Atlantic Alliance is de-facto a party to the Ukrainian conflict and is actively involved in organizing the shelling of Russian territories,” Patrushev told the Argumenty I Fakty newspaper.
“Within its framework, collective decisions are being made on new arms supplies with an increase in their technical and long-range capabilities, and NATO instructors in several countries are training mercenaries and saboteurs for their participation in anti-Russian operations.”
Ukraine has struck deep into Russian territory over the past year, bombing oil refineries and weapons factories with drones and repeatedly shelling Russian border regions. 
Ukrainian drones attacked Russia’s third largest oil refinery on Tuesday about 1,300 km (800 miles) from the front lines, hitting a core unit which processes about 155,000 barrels of crude refining per day.
Putin last month warned the West that a direct conflict between Russia and NATO would mean the planet was one step away from World War Three and said that some NATO military personnel were present already in Ukraine.
Patrushev described NATO as an instrument of the United States which he said wanted to ultimately destroy Russia and steal its vast natural resources.
“The West considered the collapse of the Soviet Union only as one of the stages of the confrontation with Russia,” Patrushev said.
“The weakening of our country as an economic and political competitor, and its subsequent removal from the political map of the world through dismemberment, are the long-term strategic goals of Washington, London and the countries of the collective West controlled by them.”
NATO, founded with 12 core members in 1949 to provide Western security against the Soviet Union, now has 32 members, enlarging after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union and the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
NATO accepted the former Warsaw Pact states of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland as members in 1999, and in 2004 it accepted the eastern European states of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004.
Finland joined in 2023 and Sweden in 2024.