updated 6/5/2008 6:27:12 PM ET 2008-06-05T22:27:12

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday in his first major foreign policy speech that if NATO moves to expand further east it would seriously undermine relations between Russia and the West.

At a Berlin forum on his first Western trip since succeeding Vladimir Putin, Medvedev suggested a new European security pact that would protect interests of all nations on the continent.

But if NATO continues eastward expansion instead, he suggested it could lead to long-term problems with Moscow.

Using harsh rhetoric characteristic of his predecessor, Medvedev said, "I'm convinced that in this case our relations with NATO will be undermined and radically spoiled for a long time to come."

"There will be no confrontation, of course, but the price will be high," he said. "That will inflict a very serious damage."

NATO, under pressure from Russia, delayed a decision last month on granting Georgia and Ukraine plans that would set them on the path toward membership. But allied leaders said they could join one day and offered to review the decision in December.

Medvedev suggested that with the end of the Cold War, NATO was struggling to find a mission and so was turning to expansion.

"NATO has struggled to find a sense for its existence," he said. "They are trying to find it now through 'globalization' of the alliance's mission."

He proposed holding an all-Europe summit to consider signing a new European security pact.

"Atlantism has exhausted itself," he said. "Now we must talk about the integrity of the entire Euro-Atlantic space — from Vancouver to Vladivostok."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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