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NATO to find excuse for tension with Russia if not Ukraine — Lavrov

August 04, 2014, 17:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
This “short-sighted policy” was based on the wish to impose their own will at any cost, he says
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© EPA/FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS

MOSCOW, August 04. /ITAR-TASS/. NATO would find an excuse to create tensions in relationship with Russia even if there was no Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday in an exclusive interview to ITAR-TASS.

Speaking of the approaching 20th anniversary of Russian troops’ withdrawal from Europe, Lavrov said at that time the government sincerely wanted a new life where Europe and the West as a whole would see Russia as a partner.

“If there is no more Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union, and the troops have already left, why maintain NATO and all that attributes of the Cold War era,” he said. But “the hopes remained unfulfilled”.

“As you know, NATO has not ceased to expand. It looks for the meaning to exist. Afghanistan helped for some time,” Lavrov said. “Now everybody understands that Afghanistan only weighs on NATO solidarity, as what NATO had no chance to success, and the problem of drug threat and drug production have deteriorated a lot.”

In this context, it was Russia that could give the organization new meaning of life, Lavrov said.

“If not Ukraine, I assure you, any other aspect of Russian domestic or foreign policy would be used as a reason for speculations. We have seen it with Syria, when the West declared Assad can no more be considered a partner, while we said regime should not be toppled, and negotiations are necessary,” Lavrov said.

Then came Snowden and the Olympics where it was totally unclear what the West was dissatisfied about - the high price of the Games or Russia’s victory, the Minister said.

Lavrov lamented the fact that “with all the good intents expressed by Western partners in Europe” the Cold War “inertia and inability to resist the ongoing attempts to drive all Europeans under the NATO roof and make them talk to Russia in a harsh voice” persisted. This “short-sighted policy” was based on the wish to impose their own will at any cost, adopt sanctions against dissenters and retaliate for “independence and unwillingness to obey the unilateral, unipolar world”.

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