Lavrov Warns Russia Will Take Measures Against Threats to Its Security
Dec. 31, 2021 (EIRNS)—In the aftermath of the Biden-Putin phone call of yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned in an interview with Sputnik that “If a constructive response does not follow within a reasonable time and the West continues its aggressive line, then Russia will be forced to take all necessary measures to ensure a strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our security.” He explained that Moscow’s proposals on security guarantees envision the non-expansion of NATO to the east and deployment of strike weapons near Russia’s borders, but they all contain other elements that in the end should “form those very reliable, legally binding security guarantees.”
“Our proposals are aimed at creating and legalizing a new system of agreements based on the principle of the indivisibility of security and abandonment of attempts to achieve military superiority, which was approved unanimously by the leaders of all Euro-Atlantic states in the 1990s. I would like to emphasize that what we need is legally binding guarantees since our Western colleagues systematically fail to fulfill political obligations, not to mention voiced assurances and promises given to Soviet and Russian leaders,”
Lavrov said. “Participation of high-ranking military personnel of the United States and the countries of the [NATO] alliance is fundamentally important for us,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia will not allow the U.S. and NATO to delay the process with “endless discussions.”
Lavrov charged that NATO is trying to use Kiev as a tool against Russia.
“NATO member states are systematically transforming Ukraine into a military foothold against Russia, building their bases there, using its territory to conduct exercises. If this year there were seven such maneuvers, then in the coming year, according to a law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada [the parliament] of Ukraine, 10 [drills are planned], including one year-round [exercise],”
Lavrov said. He observed that the number of troops participating in drills in Ukraine will double in 2022 and reach 64,000.
He also said that the Ukrainian government has no intention of ending a military conflict with the self-proclaimed republics that has been plaguing the country since 2014. “The civil war, which has been going on for the eighth year in Ukraine, is far from over. The country’s authorities are not going to take steps to resolve the conflict in Donbas on the uncontested basis of the Minsk Package of Measures,” Lavrov said.
According to him, the Ukrainian authorities consider support from NATO “as carte blanche for a military operation.” “As for the residents of Donbas, where hundreds of thousands of citizens of our country live, Russia will take all the necessary measures to protect them. We will continue to make efforts to resolve the internal Ukrainian conflict by political and diplomatic means,” Lavrov said. He further stated that there will be an “adequate response” to any possible military provocations from Kiev.