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Lavrov: Moscow Doesn’t Want War, But Won’t Allow to Ignore Its Interests

Lavrov: Moscow Doesn’t Want War, But Won’t Allow to Ignore Its Interests
folder_openRussia access_time3 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

If it's up to Russia, there will be no war; Moscow does not want war, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during an interview with four major Russian radio stations.

However, Russia will not allow the West to grossly ignore its interests, Lavrov stressed.

He added that the talks on security guarantees with NATO and the US are not over.

"I can’t say that the negotiations are over, because now … well, the Americans and NATO, as you know, have been studying the extremely simple proposals concluded in the draft treaty with Washington and the agreement with the North Atlantic Alliance for more than a month. We received answers only the day before yesterday, which, in such a Western style, cast a shadow on negotiations in many ways, but there is some rationality, as I already said on secondary issues," Lavrov said.

According to the foreign minister, Russia wants to "work honestly" when it comes to its proposals on security guarantees, but the West "hysterically" develops the topic of Russia’s alleged threat to Ukraine.

Lavrov stressed that if the US and NATO do not change their stance on Russia's security proposals, Moscow will not change its stance too.

Russia will send an official request, asking how the West plans to fulfill its obligations regarding the indivisibility of security, the top Russian diplomat added.

"Today, as I actually warned, I am sending official requests to all my colleagues with a direct appeal to officially explain how they are going to fulfill, in the current historical conditions, the obligations that their countries have signed at the highest level," Lavrov said.

Commenting on threats of new sanctions against Russia, Lavrov said that they would be tantamount to cutting ties between the countries, and Washington understands this.

"As for the threat of sanctions. The Americans were told … that the package that is now mentioned, which is accompanied by a complete shutdown of those financial and economic systems that are controlled by the West, it will be tantamount to breaking off relations. It was mentioned, and I think, they understand it," the minister said.

Lavrov also touched upon a row over Russian diplomatic property in the US. He said that if the US "rudeness" towards diplomatic missions continues, Russia has reserves to make the number of diplomats equal. The next meeting with the US to discuss diplomatic property will be held within two weeks, the minister added.

“Well, let's see, in the next couple of weeks, there should be another meeting. Now there is direct bargaining from the side of the Americans,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov's interview comes two days after Moscow had received a written response from Washington to the security guarantee proposals presented by Russia last month in an effort to de-escalate tensions with NATO over Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Minister said on Thursday that in their response, the US had failed to answer the main questions about the non-expansion of NATO to the east. He added that Moscow has been considering the US and NATO responses as a whole.

According to Russia's security proposals, the sides should provide legally binding written guarantees to each other not to deploy troops and military equipment in areas where they could be viewed as a threat to the other side. Russia and the US should also restrict the deployment of nuclear weapons abroad. Apart from this, Moscow expects the US and NATO to make a commitment not to expand the alliance to the east and never accept Ukraine or any other former Soviet republic into NATO.