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Unlike NATO, CSTO not to opt for ultimatums, blackmail - Lavrov

December 02, 23:50 UTC+3 MINSK

Russian Foreign Minister is convinced that "NATO still exists artificially

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MINSK, December 2. /TASS/. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a security alliance of former Soviet republics, will not take the path of ultimatums and blackmail, typical of NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the Belarussian television channel STV on Saturday.

"I strongly believe that the CSTO will not take this path. We do not blackmail anyone and do not issue ultimatums to anyone," Lavrov said. "We are concerned about own security within the territory of the CSTO members. We have enough problems and we are not trying to play geopolitical games."

Lavrov is convinced that "NATO still exists artificially."

"Following the collapse of both the Soviet Union and Warsaw Treaty, the alliance forfeited its raison d’etre," the top diplomat said. "Our counterparts across the ocean were the ones to support the military and political bloc of the North Atlantic Alliance aspiring not to lose leverage over Europe."

First, to justify the meaning of "their unity," NATO employed the theme of Afghanistan, afterwards "the Russian Federation ‘has turned up’ as a country that defends its interests in close cooperation with its allies in the territory that historically belongs to us."

"It caused frustration, primarily, because we voiced disagreement with NATO’s gross breaches of the agreements adopted in the 1990s, which are as follows: security is indivisible, NATO will not expand to the East, and a later compromise that NATO’s expansion to the East will not include deployment of considerable combat forces in the new member countries," Lavrov said.

"NATO has trampled in the grossest way on all the agreements and they have tried to trap all our neighbors in a double bind - either they side with Russia or with the West," the Russian foreign minister said. "We can see in Georgia and Ukraine what has been brought about."

The CSTO is not limited to solving only military or political issues, Lavrov said.

"A big policy of integration is included, mostly ensuring security in our common space in all its meanings and dimensions - anti-terrorism, anti-drug and anti-crime," he said.

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