Putin's Russia my biggest regret, says Nato chief

 NATO`s outgoing Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Russia`s behaviour during his five-year term was his "deepest disappointment" as he accused Moscow of showing "utter disregard" for international law and "a brutal determination" to redraw borders by force, a British daily reported Sunday.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 28, 2014, 23:42 PM IST

London: NATO`s outgoing Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Russia`s behaviour during his five-year term was his "deepest disappointment" as he accused Moscow of showing "utter disregard" for international law and "a brutal determination" to redraw borders by force, a British daily reported Sunday.

"Russia`s behaviour is my deepest disappointment of the past five years. My very first speech as Nato secretary general, in September 2009, focused on seeking a strategic partnership with Russia. I saw this as a historic opportunity which my generation could not miss," The Independent quoted Rasmussen as saying in an interview to it.

Rasmussen`s term in office expires Oct 1. He will be replaced by Norway`s former prime minister Jens Stoltenberg.

The outgoing NATO chief said that Russia`s "utter disregard" for international law was evident as it was trying to redraw its borders by force. "The pattern is clear. From Moldova to Georgia, and now in Ukraine, Russia uses a mix of economic, political, propaganda and military pressure, to produce instability and manufacture hot conflicts which it can freeze at will."

He said that Moscow`s masterplan was to prevent its neighbours from choosing their own path so that it could "rebuild a sphere of influence".

Rasmussen said it would be a considerable challenge to engage with Moscow in the foreseeable future.

"Unless Russia changes course, there can be no business as usual... We will maintain a continuous presence in Eastern Europe," he said.