LISBON, November 24. /TASS/. Moscow and Lisbon are interested in improving the situation in the Euro-Atlantic region but the military activities of NATO near the Russian borders are hampering it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva on Saturday.
"We are interested and see the same interest of Portugal in improving the situation in the Euro-Atlantic. Unfortunately, stepping up of NATO’s military activities near our borders remains a serious obstacle on this path," Lavrov said. He also noted that this creates a threat of violating the fundamental NATO-Russia act on non-deployment of substantial combat forces on the territory of the bloc’s new members on a permanent basis.
Russia’s Foreign Minister added that during the talks the parties expressed regret over the freezing of contacts between Russia and the EU in almost all channels.
"It seems to me that it would be unforgivable if Russia and the European Union would remain so detached from contacts with each other in a situation where, on the contrary, you need to talk more in order to understand what your partner is thinking and not to create threats and risks for the residents of our common continent," the Russian diplomat concluded.