Lavrov: NATO Expansion Means Development of Territories Under US Command

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that NATO expansion has nothing to do with the fulfillment of statutory goals, it is the development of territories under the command of the United States in line with strengthening the unipolar world.

“Of course, when they accepted Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, how can they strengthen the security of the North Atlantic alliance, if it is a defensive alliance? This simply shows that NATO expansion has nothing to do with the fulfillment of its statutory goals, that this is the development of territories under the US command in line with strengthening and attempting to perpetuate that same unipolar world,” the minister said on the air of the Bolshaya Igra (“Big Game”) show on Channel One.

Lavrov recalled that Russia had warned against drawing Ukraine into NATO, but negotiations on security guarantees clearly proved that NATO and the United States showed no desire to take into account Russia’s legitimate interests.

“Negotiations that then took place between our delegations and the United States, then I met with [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken, and then our team went to NATO, where they presented the treaty already in the ‘NATO’ context, in the context of Russia-NATO, they showed that none of them had any desire to take into account our legitimate interests, our security interests,” the minister said on the air of the Bolshaya Igra (“Big Game”) show on Channel One.

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“They [Western countries] are making it clear that we can’t decide what is necessary for our security. They will also now move the line of defense of their ‘defensive alliance’ to the South China Sea,” Lavrov said in an interview on Channel One.

He noted that Western countries are openly declaring that they should be in control of the situation in the world and NATO has every right to pursue its policy everywhere.

“And as before, many of us are convinced that the real position of Ukraine is determined in Washington, London and other Western capitals. And therefore, our political scientists say, why talk with the Zelensky team — you need to talk with the Americans, and you need to negotiate with them, and achieve some kind of agreement. But we still continue to negotiate with the team that Zelensky nominated, these contacts will continue,” the diplomat added.

“For reasons well known, the United States withdrew from virtually all contacts due to the fact that we were forced to stand up for the Russians in Ukraine, who were bombed for eight years without any reaction from the West, except for encouragement of the Russophobic and neo-Nazi actions of the Kiev regime,” the diplomat added.

Western Russophobia, Racism Toward Everything Russian Cultivated at Highest Level

“Especially now, when Russophobia and real racism toward all Russians is being cultivated at the highest level,” the minister said on air.

“As recently said, if we take the neighbor of the United States — Canada, Mr. Trudeau, the prime minister, said that it was necessary to punish [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and all those who support him, and added that not only Russia, but all Russians will pay for what is happening, just like that,” Lavrov added.

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Situation on Ground, Outlines of Peaceful Settlement With Kiev Clearly Linked – Lavrov

“As for the connection between the situation on the ground and the outlines of a hypothetical or, say, eventual peaceful settlement, of course, such a connection exists. And as we emphasized from the very beginning in the statement that Putin made announcing this special operation, we, of course, before all want is for the Ukrainian people to be able to decide for themselves how to live on,” the foreign minister said.

“As in any situation when armed forces are used, of course, everything will end with a treaty, but the parameters of this treaty will be determined by the stage of hostilities at which this treaty will become a reality,” he stated.

“I very much hope that – as everyone does the spell that we should by no means allow a third world war – that it is in this context that they consider the constant provocations of Zelensky and his team, who demand almost the deployment of NATO troops to protect the Ukrainian authorities,” Lavrov said in an interview with Channel One.

The Russian Foreign Minister noted that many Western countries say they will provide weapons, which adds fuel to the fire, and they want to force Ukrainians to fight with Russia to the last soldier with these arms supplies. However, such actions contribute to the conflict dragging on longer in the hope that Russia will suffer more. Lavrov also said that the leaders of the Western countries, with the exception of Poland, all declare that the issue of sending NATO troops to Ukraine is excluded.

West Hopes to Cause Real Damage to Russia Via Zelensky

“They want to really try to make it so that ‘what if he succeeds,'” the minister said adding that “sane people understand everything.”

However, there are those who believe: “what if Zelensky manages to inflict some irreparable damage on the Russians and defeat them on the battlefield, when the Russians will have to ask for mercy and agree to much less favorable terms than they expected.”

“I emphasize once again: we have a feeling that the West wants Ukraine to continue to fight, to continue, as it seems to them, to wear out, exhaust the Russian army and the Russian military-industrial complex — this is an illusion,” the minister said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine after the request of the Donbas republics for military assistance. President Putinsaid that the military operation was a forced measure due to the Ukrainian aggression against Donbas and the proximity of NATO forces to the Russian border.

In late 2021, Russia published its security suggestions for NATO and the US as tensions rose around Ukraine. Moscow specifically requested guarantees that the alliance would not expand eastward to include Ukraine and Georgia and would not establish military bases in post-Soviet countries. The proposals on security guarantees were rejected out of hand, and in response to non-expansion of NATO, with Washington insisting it will not allow anyone to slam NATO’s open-door policy shut.

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