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The West is ‘split down the middle’ over Russia, says senior MP

February 15, 23:42 UTC+3 ATHENS
"The Munich conference showed the situation in relations between the West and Russia," Alexei Pushkov said
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Russia's State Duma’s International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov

Russia's State Duma’s International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov

© Alexandr Shalgin/Russia's parliament press service/TASS

ATHENS, February 15. /TASS/. The Munich Security Conference has demonstrated that the West was divided into those in favor of confrontation with Russia and those against it, a senior Russian parliamentarian said at a news conference organized by the Russian Embassy to Greece.

"The Munich conference showed the situation in relations between the West and Russia," Alexei Pushkov said, noting two tendencies in the West - towards a long-term Cold War with Russia and towards maintaining partnership between Russia and the European Union.

Pushkov, the chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, said the first tendency was voiced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who made "a classical cold-war-time speech, saying the West was facing two threats - one from the South and another one from the East, but focusing in his speech mainly on the so-called threat from the East".

"And Mr. Stoltenberg voiced in his speech a formula of relations with Russia that is impracticable. He said more intimidation was needed and more dialogue, but I must say that if NATO follows the path of stronger intimidation, a dialogue will be impossible," he said.

"Another tendency was also stated in Munich. It is the point of view that the West should not embark on the path of a Cold War, but it needs cooperation with Russia, without which the problem of the Syrian settlement, the problem of refugees cannot be settled, and generally stabilization cannot be achieved in the Middle East," he continued.

"This tendency, in particular, was presented in a speech of German Foreign Minister Walter Frank-Steinmeier, as well as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who several times repeated that Islamic State was the main enemy of the European community, and the main task for the moment was to efficiently fight terrorism".

"At talks in Athens we have once again established that Greece is unconditionally among those European Union countries that seek long-term and serious cooperation with Russia and that proceed from the assumption that there is no alternative to this partnership," Pushkov said.

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