MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday attacked Western "paternalism" in a major foreign policy speech, singling out US and European policies on missile defence and Kosovo for criticism. "With the end of the Cold War, there is no reason to have a bloc mentality. There is also no reason for paternalism, where some countries decide everything for others," Medvedev said during a meeting with Russian diplomats in Moscow. The Kremlin leader also likened the situation in Kosovo to Iraq and warned that Russia would be forced to take countermeasures against controversial US plans to site missile defence installations in Eastern Europe. "It's important for us to meet with the president, who is responsible for foreign policy," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in his introductory remarks. The speech "had a special significance as he is beginning his political activity. It's clear that there will be continuity in our foreign policy," said Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations. Prior to Medvedev's inauguration in May, some Western observers had expressed hope that the new Russian leader might adopt a more conciliatory posture in international affairs than Putin. But his rhetoric on Tuesday closely resembled that of his predecessor. Referring to the US missile defence sites, Medvedev said: "These installations ... only worsen the situation. We will be forced to respond to this adequately. The EU and US have been warned." Russia views the radar, as well as US plans to site missile systems in Poland, as a threat to its national security despite US assurances that they are directed against "rogue states" like Iran. "National security cannot be based on spoken promises," Medvedev said. Touching on the issue of Kosovo, Medvedev condemned Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in February. "For the EU, Kosovo is almost what Iraq is to the United States.... This is the latest example of the undermining of international law," he said. On a more conciliatory note, Medvedev told the group of diplomats that they should refrain from Cold War-style confrontation in international affairs. Meanwhile, Russian and the US held rival wargames Tuesday on either side of the Caucasus mountains amid simmering tensions over the fate of two rebel regions in ex-Soviet Georgia. Almost 8,000 Russian servicemen on Tuesday began anti-terror exercises across Russia's North Caucasus region, which borders Georgia, a spokesman for the Russian army told AFP. In Georgia 1,650 US and Georgian servicemen began rival exercises on the formerly Russian-controlled Vaziani base, the Georgian Defence Ministry said. The Russian exercises were planned a year ago and "are in no way related to the US-Georgian activities," Russian army spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.