ASHGABAT, June 28. /TASS/. NATO's announced buildup of troops on its eastern flank was planned regardless of what would be written in the document at its summit in Madrid, this continues an unacceptable policy of moving the bloc closer to the Russian borders, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference after a meeting of the Caspian nations’ foreign ministers.
"The announced buildup on the eastern flank of NATO, an increase in the armed forces, I think there are up to 200,000 or even more troops, this was planned regardless of what would be written in the document to be adopted in Madrid," Lavrov said.
This was announced quite a long time ago. It is a continuation of the unacceptable NATO policy of developing the territories of the former Soviet Union in violation of all previous agreements and pledges, the policy of moving the Alliance and its military infrastructure close to the Russian borders," the top diplomat said.
According to him, NATO has been pursuing this policy since long, and beginning from the 2000s, Moscow has been trying to stop it and agree on mutually acceptable forms and methods for ensuring European security. "We have repeatedly made such attempts, motivated by goodwill," he emphasized. "Our president has personally explained the harmfulness of the actions of the North Atlantic Alliance violating the principle of the indivisibility of security. This work was carried out at the level of the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry. To no avail," Lavrov went on to say.
He emphasized that the West had been flatly refusing to meet its own commitments not to expand NATO and to ensure the indivisibility of security, including the commitment not to ensure its own security at the expense of the security of others.
"Just as the West subsequently refused to implement the agreements on the settlement between [then] President [of Ukraine Viktor] Yanukovych and the Ukrainian opposition in February 2014, just as the West later, in February 2015, categorically refused to implement the Minsk agreements it had signed," Lavrov pointed out.
"If our words, our arguments are fully ignored arrogantly, and now it is no longer an 'if,' but an established fact, then of course we will draw conclusions as to how to further negotiate with our Western neighbors on this planet," he summed up.