Russian government officials have explained that Europe’s security needs to be discussed, but that it requires cooperation.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Choi has accused NATO of gradually withdrawing its troops from Russia’s borders and refusing to discuss European security as an equal partner with Moscow, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

And Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Krusko told NTV Russian television that the North Atlantic Alliance is in the same situation today as it was in 1949: it is, in fact, a model of the Cold War, directing its core efforts to avoid the “threat of the East.”

Sergei Choiku’s comment is the latest development, pointing to growing tensions between Russia and NATO, with NATO defense ministers on Thursday agreeing to a new plan to defend against a possible number of leading Russian attacks. German Defense Minister Annegret Cromb-Karenbauer called the plan an obstacle, but said the Kremlin had shown that Moscow had the right to limit its relations with NATO.

Russia closed its diplomatic mission accrediting NATO, and then the Coalition’s representation in Moscow expelled eight NATO Russian citizens on charges of espionage.

The Russian Defense Minister stressed that Europe’s security must be mutually exclusive, without compromising Russia’s interests.