'New Cold War' has started, says Russia's Medvedev

Saturday 13 February 2016 22.47
Medvedev criticised the expansion of NATO and EU influence in Eastern Europe
Medvedev criticised the expansion of NATO and EU influence in Eastern Europe

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today said that strains between Russia and the West have plunged the world into a "new Cold War".

With tensions high over the Ukraine conflict and Russia's backing of the Syrian regime, Mr Medvedev said: "All that's left is an unfriendly policy of NATO against Russia."

"We can say it even more clearly: We have slid into a new period of Cold War," he said, speaking at the Munich Security Conference.

"Almost every day we are accused of making new horrible threats either against NATO as a whole, against Europe or against the US or other countries."

Mr Medvedev criticised the expansion of NATO and EU influence deep into formerly Soviet-ruled eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.

"European politicians thought that creating a so-called belt of friends at Europe's side, on the outskirts of the EU, could be a guarantee of security, and what's the result?" he said. 

"Not a belt of friends but a belt of exclusion."

He added that "creating trust is hard...but we have to start. Our positions differ, but they do not differ as much as 40 years ago when a wall was standing in Europe."