MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Ukraine needs to preserve its non-aligned status to prevent the country’s further split, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrote in an article published in Serbia’s Horizons magazine. The text of the article is available on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
"We have repeatedly warned at various venues that the attempts to make Kiev fix a one-way foreign policy vector — to the west or to the east — are fraught with the most serious consequences for the still fragile Ukrainian statehood," Lavrov said. "Our advice was not heeded, and as a result of a coup d'etat supported by the West and armed seizure of power Ukraine has found itself on the verge of a split." According to him, in these circumstances "the free expression of will by the population of Crimea came only as a response to actions of ultranationalists who, instead of working for the consolidation of the Ukrainian society, pushed the country into a civil war."
"Despite the whole complexity of the situation, we are certain that the achievement of peace and security in Ukraine is quite a feasible task. The most important component of success is an inclusive nationwide dialogue, as was stipulated by the Geneva declaration of Russia, the European Union, United States and Ukraine of April 17, 2014," the minister said. "It is obvious that the rights and interests of all regions and citizens without exception should be guaranteed in full." The Russian side "consistently supports the continuation of the work within the Minsk process framework the main component part of which should be Kiev’s direct contacts with Donetsk and Lugansk, taking into account the elections held in the Donbas region."
"For the prevention of the further split of Ukraine the preservation of its non-aligned status is of principal importance," the article reads.
NATO’s military build-up near Russia’s borders is clear evidence the alliance is unable to say good-bye to the legacy of the Cold War, Russian Foreign Minister said in an article entitled Russia’s Priorities in Europe and the World.
"NATO’s instant shift to confrontational rhetoric and to curtailing cooperation with Russia as well as building up military presence near Russian borders clearly indicates the alliance’s inability to overcome Cold War stereotypes," Lavrov said. "Regrettably, NATO in its current shape is a rudiment of a long-gone era."
Regarding the situation in the world Lavrov believes it is nakedly clear that "without pooling the potentials of states in the eastern and western parts of Europe it will be impossible to ensure Europe’s worthy place in a new international system amid growing competition on all tracks."
He recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin had put forward an idea of systematic harmonization of the process of European and Eurasian integration, including the creation of a free trade zone of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union by 2020.
"It is beyond doubt that many European problems would be resolved far easier, if an agreement were forged on joint movement towards a common strategic goal — gradual creation of a common economic and humanitarian space form Lisbon to Vladivostok on the principles of indivisible security and broad cooperation," Lavrov said. "For implementing this ambitious task all pre-requisites are in place — common civilizational and cultural roots, a high degree of mutual complementation of the economies and commitment to unified rules of trade in accordance with the norms of the WTO and interest in the search for ways of innovative growth."