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Moscow will not allow new cold war — Russian Foreign Minister

January 21, 2015, 11:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said relations between Moscow and Washington in 2014 saw a serious aggravation but Moscow is calling for a return to the track of constructive cooperation
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© TASS/Ilya Pitalev

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. Russia will not allow a new cold war as it is impossible to ensure global security through unilateral actions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told an annual press conference on Wednesday.

“We will not allow a new cold war, and partners should understand that security cannot be ensured through unilateral actions in joint work,” Lavrov stressed.

The minister said NATO is seeking a confrontation with Russia. “A political decision was taken to suspend cooperation, but this is not our choice,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov pointed out that NATO’s choice for a confrontation path with Russia has proved that the “cold war” mentality still prevails and the West has sacrificed cooperation for ideology.

“NATO has chosen a confrontation way. The speed at which NATO members cut all contacts with Russia shows that the “cold war” mentality has not disappeared and they still view the alliance as a tool of advancing unilateral interests,” Lavrov told the news conference.

The minister noted that the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), established in 2002 as a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building and joint decision, has not become a forum for an “equal dialogue.”

Russia considered that the Council was important for implementing useful projects in Afghanistan and the fight against drug trafficking. “Now this has been sacrificed for ideology,” he said.

In April, NATO decided to suspend “all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia. It said political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council could continue at the ambassadorial level and above to exchange views.

However, Russia will not evade contact with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The minister noted that the West's attempts to retain leadership in world affairs at any cost hinder the solution of global security problems. “There is information that the NATO secretary general is interested in organising a contact. We’ve briefly met with him in Basel at an OSCE ministerial meeting, we greeted each other,” Lavrov said. “We are not going to evade contact.”

“The events of the past years are convincing proof that only concerted action can achieve solution of global security and stability problems,” Lavrov said. This is impaired by the fundamental controversies in building a polycentric fundamental world order, including attempts by historical West to retain leadership in world affairs at any cost and dictate its approaches.

Lavrov pointed out that attempts to isolate Russia will produce no result.

“Calls have been heard that Russia needs to be isolated, in particular, Barack Obama declared this. These attempts will produce no result. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia will never choose the way of self-isolation,” Lavrov said.

Russia urges US to get back on track of constructive cooperation

The minister also dwelled on the relations between Russia and the US saying Moscow is urging the United States to get back on the track of constructive cooperation on the basis of respect for each other’s interests.

“Relations between Moscow and Washington in 2014 saw a serious aggravation,” Lavrov said. “We are calling for a return to the track of constructive cooperation in bilateral relations and in the international scene.”

“But a dialogue will be possible only on the basis of equality and respect for each other’s interests,” Lavrov said.

“Yesterday’s message from Obama indicates that the US philosophy is revolving over one postulate: ‘We are number one and everybody must agree with that,’” Lavrov said. “That does not meet the current realities. The US wishes to dominate the world, and not even be number one among equals.”

“I believe that this attitude will fade away, but the change will take a while,” Lavrov said. “There will emerge the awareness that such a position cannot be retained indefinitely.”.

Lavrov said he is convinced that the logic of partnership will eventually prevail in the relations between Russia and the US.

"I am convinced that the logic of partnership, the logic of collective activities based on the elaboration of common approaches and not on narrow personal interests will prevail," Lavrov told the new conference.

Russia still interested in mutually beneficial partnership with EU

Sergey Lavrov said Russia still wants to continue gradual mutually beneficial cooperation with the European Union.

The minister noted that the current situation in Ukraine caused “deterioration of several problematic aspects” in relations between Russia and EU states. "We find it necessary to conduct dialogue at an equal and mutually respecting basis,” Lavrov noted.

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