Lavrov: NATO can hardly be called a defensive alliance after the bombing of Yugoslavia

30.01.2022, Moscow.

Dragging Ukraine into NATO will not strengthen the Alliance’s security, but will undermine relations between Russia and the West, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on January 30 on the Sunday Time program on the One Russia Channel.

Lavrov noted that the line that NATO countries must defend is shifting farther east, “Now it has come very close to Ukraine. They want to drag that country there [into NATO], too.”

According to Lavrov, it is clear to everyone that Ukraine cannot make any contribution to strengthening the security of NATO, it is not ready for this. Lavrov said that dragging Ukraine into the organization would actually undermine relations between the West and Russia, since it would be a blatant violation of an official political commitment once undertaken by the presidents of the US and other countries members of the Alliance.

Lavrov recalled that NATO’s response to Russian proposals on security guarantees received from Brussels from Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “proudly states that NATO is a defensive alliance.”

“It is hard to call it defensive. We should not forget that they bombed Yugoslavia for almost three months and invaded Libya in violation of a UN Security Council resolution, and how they behaved in Afghanistan,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister believes that when the Soviet Union and Western countries were in the Cold War and “the Berlin Wall existed,” it was clear “what territory to defend.”

“The wall is gone, within the OSCE we proclaimed eternal friendship, the indivisibility of security, solidarity, agreed that no one should strengthen their security at the expense of others but they [NATO] continue to accept countries (five waves of expansion),” Lavrov stressed.

The Russian foreign minister said the decision to accept new members into NATO should serve to strengthen the security of the alliance, which corresponds to Article 10 of the Washington Treaty on the establishment of the North Atlantic Alliance. Lavrov said, “They don’t just have the right to invite whomever they want; they have to see to what extent this adds to the security of the alliance itself.”

Lavrov went on to say that NATO accepted the countries with which Russia had “good relations” – Montenegro and Macedonia. “Do the US masters pose the question: how has this strengthened the security of NATO? What contribution do these countries make to the security of the organization, taking their military and military-technical resources into account?” Lavrov added.

At the end of 2021, Russia published drafts of an agreement with NATO and a treaty with the United States on security guarantees. Among other things, they demand from the Western partners legal guarantees against further expansion of NATO to the east, against the establishment of military bases in the post-Soviet countries and against Ukraine’s accession to the bloc. The proposals also contain clauses on the non-deployment of NATO strike weapons near Russia’s borders and on the withdrawal of Alliance forces in Eastern Europe to the positions of 1997.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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