Plans for NATO enlargement are out of touch with reality, Russia`s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, days before alliance members discuss whether to admit ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia at a summit, according to Reuters.
His comments will maintain the pressure on Washington, which is lobbying for Ukraine and Georgia to be set on the path to NATO membership at the April 2-4 summit in Bucharest, despite opposition from Moscow and some alliance members.
"These plans for NATO`s enlargement we perceive as out of touch with the reality of the world, when the threats to all of us are common, and fighting against them across the globe is something we can only do in concert," Lavrov said.
Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published this week that letting Ukraine and Georgia join NATO would undermine European security.
Lavrov said the disagreement was also likely to come up when U.S. President George W. Bush travels to Russia`s Black Sea resort of Sochi for a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin after the NATO summit.
He said the two men would use the Sochi talks to discuss a proposed U.S. missile defense shield in eastern Europe, which Russia says will harm its security, and the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, subject of a dispute between Moscow and NATO.