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Russia will never turn the other cheek in foreign policy matters, top diplomat says

He particularly mentioned NATO’s expansion to include the Baltic states

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Moscow stands for peace but will never turn the other cheek in relations with other countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, addressing the New Knowledge educational marathon on Friday.

"Peaceful intentions and deal-making are not our priority, but the need to ensure the interests of our country and its people. Agreements are a tool that can only be equal. Peaceful intentions are a good thing and we are all for peace but we have never said that we will turn the other cheek, regardless of our affection for Leo Tolstoy," Lavrov pointed out.

He particularly mentioned NATO’s expansion to include the Baltic states. "They were dragged into NATO and we were told that there was no need to worry as they would be released from their phobias and everything would be fine. But nothing like that happened. The tail wags the dog within NATO, that is, the Russophobic minority within NATO and the EU. The three Baltic countries are the leaders of the Russophobic minority and they keep demanding more punishment for Russia. And they expect the Americans to cover for them," the Russian top diplomat said.

Lavrov stressed he did not agree with those who said that Russia allegedly let Western countries get away with anything at all. "Those days are long gone. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, we were so eager to become part of Western institutions on their terms… But we were still too large of a country for them to swallow us, so thank God, we weren’t accepted anywhere. We have assessed that period, lessons are learned," Lavrov concluded.