In an interview with the Finnish publication Hufvudstadsbladet, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that Russia was completely opened to Western countries after the end of the Cold War, but it was deceived.
"We opened up completely for the West. Not because we were defeated - we did it ourselves. Nobody invaded us; Gorbachev simply wanted to put an end to the arms race. He wanted to put an end to the Cold War. So we opened [our country], and you deceived us. You answered us by fencing [us] in with barbed wire," the diplomat complained.
She also added that Moscow does not need conflicts with the West, and that Russia is only interested in developing trade and cultural ties.
"We want to be able to freely travel to each other's countries; we want to get rid of visa restrictions. But we are constantly rejected! It's like Russian submarines in Sweden - everyone knew that they existed, but nobody had seen them. A month later, after the entire Swedish nation was frightened, the media wrote a couple of lines noting that the ‘submarines’ appeared to be ‘something else,’" Zakharova said.
In addition, the diplomat explained why Russia demonstrates its armament to other states.
"Now we show everyone: ‘Do not even think about attacking us again.’ After we lost 20 million people in World War II, we have the right to demonstrate this to everyone so that it does not happen again. Over the past twenty years, they have tried to surround us from all sides. We asked why Poland needs a missile defense system, and we were told that it was necessary against Iran. [That is] flat-out fraud,” Zakharova protested.
Relations between Moscow and the West have worsened due to the situation in Ukraine and around the Crimea. The West, accusing Russia of interference, has imposed sanctions against the country.