MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. NATO’s military bases would appear in Crimea if it hadn’t rejoined Russia in 2014 and remained part of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Al Jazeera.
"The European Union played its main role in 2014, when it failed make its guarantees to be respected," he said in an interview. "A putsch took place, the putschists sent gangs of armed militants to Crimea, when Crimea held a referendum, rejected the putschists and reunited with the Russian Federation."
"This is the biggest contribution of the European Union to European security," the minister continued. "If this had not happened in Crimea <...>, there would be NATO military bases there now, which is categorically unacceptable for Russia."
Lavrov said that over the past few years, the West has been inundating Ukraine with military equipment that was hostile to Russia. "For a couple of years now, Ukraine has been inundated with weapons, and lately it has been done especially actively," he said. "The Americans and the British built military and naval bases there, for example, on the Sea of Azov."
"Military biological laboratories were created by the Pentagon to continue experiments on bacteria," Lavrov went on to say. "This US program is classified."
"It also exists in other countries of the former Soviet Union right along the perimeter of the Russian Federation," the minister continued. "The inundation of Ukraine with military components that were hostile to us was very active."
"In 2014, probably, nothing would have happened, there would have been no unrest in eastern Ukraine, there would have been no referendum in Crimea if the agreement guaranteed by the Germans, French and Poles had been implemented," Lavrov said. "But they showed their inability to force Kyiv to respect the signatures of the so-called European greats."
"We are now talking about to what extent can the European Union play an independent role in the efforts to ensure European security," he said.