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Moscow concerned about NATO’s policy of containing Russia — Lavrov

November 02, 2016, 22:39 UTC+3 ATHENS

"It is sad that NATO is shying away from dialogue with Russia," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

ATHENS, November 2. /TASS/. Moscow is concerned about NATO’s policy of containing Russia and is awaiting a concrete answer to its initiatives on resuming cooperation with the Alliance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"We have said on numerous occasions that we are not going to slam the door," Lavrov said at a ceremony of being awarded an honorary doctorate degree at the University of Piraeus. "There are no unsolvable problems in our relations with the West, with the availability of all parties’ good will. To reverse the current negative trend, it is necessary to abandon the flawed logic of achieving results at any cost, imposing selfish agreements and cooperation schemes without taking into account the partners’ interests. We are awaiting a concrete response from NATO to our initiatives on resuming cooperation."

According to Lavrov, "of particular concern is NATO’s policy of containing Russia, which will lead to undermining the strategic stability on the European continent." "Military infrastructure is relocated close to our borders, equipment and troops are redeployed, the number and scope of military exercises grow, the construction of the ballistic missile defense system continues. It is sad that NATO is shying away from dialogue with Russia," the minister said.

"The notorious policy aimed at renouncing equal dialogue, capturing the geopolitical space and dividing peoples into us and them has prevailed among our Western partners who were in euphoria after the end of the Cold War. The culmination of this policy was the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine supported by the United States and a number of European countries," he noted.

"Unfortunately, a serious impediment to the further strengthening of our relations is a downturn in relations between Russia and the European Union that was not initiated by us. We can often hear statements, both at the political and at the expert level, that Moscow is allegedly to blame for the current tensions on the continent. I would like to remind you that we have always expressed readiness for the rapprochement with the European Union on a wide range of issues, from the introduction of a visa-free regime to forging a real and strong energy alliance," Lavrov said.

"We came up with specific proposals that were designed to make our partnership truly strategic, which would meet mutual interests. Unfortunately, so far there is nothing to brag about in this regard," the foreign minister added.

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