Russia 'perplexed' by leaked Baltic defence plan: report
Russia is perplexed by leaked plans by the military alliance NATO to defend the Baltic states against Russian threats, a source in the foreign ministry told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday.
"Such publications raise many questions in Russia and leave us perplexed," the source said, pointing out that the reports came just weeks after a NATO-Russia summit hailed as a breakthrough in relations.
US diplomatic cables leaked by the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing website and published by the Guardian on Tuesday showed that NATO extended a defence plan covering Poland to include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after they requested extra protection.
The Russian foreign ministry source called for NATO to "develop the potential to react to real and not imaginary threats," Interfax reported.
The deputy chairman of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, on Tuesday called for Russia's envoy to NATO to demand an official explanation of the leaked plan.
Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin "should try to find out from the NATO leadership whether such plans really are being secretly developed," Slutsky said in comments to Interfax.
But Slutsky questioned whether the leaked plans reflected NATO's official position.
"I think it fully possible that such initiatives could come from those inside NATO who still see Russia as a global threat," he said. "But you cannot view information received in this way as the alliance's official position." am/sjw/ss
© 2010 AFP