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Russia to respond constructively to NATO’s revision of inadequate decisions — FM Lavrov

May 20, 2015, 14:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian foreign minister said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had not proposed any specific forms of resuming military cooperation between Russia and the alliance at their recent meeting
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Russia is ready to respond constructively, if NATO revises its decisions viewed by Moscow as inadequate, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

The Russian foreign minister said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had not proposed any specific forms of resuming military cooperation between Russia and the alliance at their recent meeting.

The Russian foreign minister said the NATO secretary general "is bound by the alliance’s common discipline and the positions, which it works out."

"Unfortunately, while confirming interest in the development of contacts, especially between military structures, the NATO secretary general did not propose any specific forms of such interaction and he just said that he had sent us several telephone numbers, which we can use to get in touch with him." Lavrov said.

"But, perhaps, this is also a method of communication," he added.

"We gave the statistics of all actions, which NATO is taking, expanding its presence near Russian borders by many times and building up its military infrastructure, in particular, in the Baltic region, Poland and Romania," the Russian foreign minister said.

"This process is proceeding actively enough," he added.

Lavrov called as inadequate NATO’s reaction to the choice by Crimean residents to reunite with Russia and the Ukraine situation.

"This has showed that the mentality of moving closer to our borders has not disappeared anywhere," the minister said.

"Also, I didn’t get any reply to the question about the attitude of the [NATO] secretary general to the violation of international law through a coup d'etat," Lavrov said.

Russia earlier called mass riots in Ukraine in February 2014, which had led to the overthrow of power in the ex-Soviet republic, as a coup coup d'etat.

The coup that brought chaos to Ukraine prompted Crimea to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of coup-imposed authorities, hold a referendum and secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March 2014.

After that, mass protests erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, has killed hundreds of civilians, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The Russian foreign minister also said he had held a philosophical talk with NATO officials "but we actually confirmed that we had not been the initiators of the disruption of numerous interaction mechanisms, in particular, through military channels," the Russian foreign minister said.

"And if NATO colleagues revise their decisions, which we view as inadequate, we are ready to respond constructively," Lavrov said.

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