Foreign Ministry views planned NATO meeting on Spitsbergen as provocation
The Russian Foreign Ministry views the planned meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Spitsbergen as a provocation, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department.
"Russia operates based on the premise that all the states that are party to the 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty should be interested in ensuring that Spitsbergen remains an archipelago of peace and neighborliness," the statement reads.
In the context of NATO's current policy of "containing" Russia, attempts to bring Spitsbergen "under the wing" of the military-political bloc and hold its meetings there violate the spirit of the 1920 Treaty, the ministry noted.
The statement also emphasizes that there are no problems in the Arctic region that require NATO participation to solve. "The escalation of tension is not in the long-term interests of the countries of Northern Europe and weakens, rather than strengthens, their security," the statement reads.