Lavrov: NATO ambitions “never changed”
NATO’s plans have never changed and have always been aimed at acquiring free geopolitical space, including in Eastern Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Belarusian mass media on occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, Russian ITAR-TASS agency reports.
“We have repeatedly realized that all these preparations, which are now being fulfilled, when NATO’s infrastructure is approaching our common borders, when new units are sent there, under the slogan of permanent rotation, what means permanent deployment in all practical senses. We understand very well that pretexts used to justify such steps are far-fetched,” Lavrov said.
“If there had not been the coup d’etat in Ukraine, after which we were forced to defend those people who refused to obey neo-Nazi perpetrators of the coup, then something else would have been invented,” he said.
“NATO’s plans have never changed and with different intensity degree have been aimed at greedily acquiring geopolitical space, which they considered as unclaimed after the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Lavrov said
Regrettably, this strategy prevailed over those who after the collapse of the Soviet Union called not to strengthen NATO and deepen division lines in Europe, but to draw up a joint approach under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) or other universal organization, Lavrov said. “This approach should be based on ensuring equal and indivisible security for all countries of the North Atlantic region,” he said.
The European politicians’ NATO-centric way of thinking cannot help build confidence and strengthen good-neighborly relations, he went on.
“When several years ago Russia proposed that an agreement be made that would enshrine the western politicians’ statements about the need to refrain from attempts to ensure one’s security by damaging the security of others, we were told that ‘this political slogan should remain a slogan, while only those who join NATO will receive legal security guarantees from the West’,” the Russian top diplomat pointed out.