MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The western states do their utmost to turn the Balkan Peninsula into a springboard against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with The Serbian Telegraph newspaper.
"After the end of the Cold War, Western countries refused to join efforts in shaping an architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic space, which Russia had been persistently urging to do," Lavrov said. "They opted for a dead-end way of expanding their geopolitical space and of mapping new divisive lines on the European continent".
"For example, in 1990, they bombed Yugoslavia for two and a half months, grossly violating international law, and then in an attempt to legitimize the act of aggression they recognized unilaterally Kosovo’s independence," Lavrov stressed.
The West’s anti-Russian policy evolved into "an armed coup in Kiev in February 2014, which was staged and backed by Washington and some European countries," he said.
"As a result, Ukraine, which had had everything to become successful and prosperous, found itself drawn into a bloody feud," the foreign minister added.
"There is an impression that the West has not learnt any lessons from the Ukrainian tragedy. Persistent attempts are currently in full swing to transform the Balkans into another springboard against Russia," he emphasized. "Regional nations are forced to make a choice: either with Moscow, or with Washington and Brussels."
"We are aware that Belgrade is subject to severe pressure aimed at making it wind down mutually beneficial cooperation with our country. Serbian brothers are resiliently withstanding this," Lavrov said.
"Moscow highly appreciates Serbia’s independent, multipronged foreign policy which, I am convinced, meets your nation’s vital interests," he said.