Russian President Vladimir Putin has called NATO a throwback to the Cold War era, but said the Western military alliance can sometimes play a positive role.
"I believe [NATO] is to a large degree a throwback of the Cold War," Putin said while addressing soldiers and officers at a Russian-leased base
in Tajikistan on October 5.
Nonetheless, he added that: "To some degree, under certain circumstances, if it acts on a mandate of UN Security Council, NATO can play a positive role,"
The Russian president said the Kremlin regarded with "worry" any attempt to expand NATO, referring also to the alliance's European missile shield.
The anti-missile system, which is to be based partly in Eastern Europe, is already operational to some extent.
Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa