10 Apr 2019 12:19

U.S., NATO reps not to attend Moscow security conference - Russian deputy defense minister

MOSCOW. April 10 (Interfax) - The United States and other NATO member states have refused to take part in the Moscow Conference on International Security due to take place on April 23-25, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said.

"Just as in previous years, we invited everyone, including all NATO countries, including the military and political leadership of the alliance. But the U.S. has refused to take part, and European states guided by the so-called Euro-Atlantic solidarity principle have also abstained from contacts with the Russian Defense Ministry," Fomin said in an interview with the newspaper Argumenty I Fakty.

"In spite of their absence, we propose that the conference's participants talk about the restoration of Syria and Iraq, the return of refugees there, the stabilization of the region on the whole, and the non-proliferation of terrorism to other regions," he said.

The conference is expected to address various security aspects of the European, Asian, African and Latin American regions, Fomin said.

"We will touch on the missile defense issue and the deployment of weapons in space, as well as discussing new approaches to military cooperation," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry sent invitations to 124 countries and more than 100 confirmed their participation.

In March, Fomin said that the NATO leadership was invited to the Moscow Conference on International Security.

It was reported earlier that NATO representatives have not been taking part in the Moscow security conference in recent years.