MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. The West is lying about guarantees of NATO’s non-expansion to the east, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Primakov Readings forum on Wednesday.
"NATO shamelessly, without even blushing, - this goes for its officials and representatives of the United States as the bloc’s leading country - refused to admit that they promised both Gorbachev and Yeltsin that NATO would not expand to the east, while there is more than enough evidence proving that they are lying," he noted.
"In their memoirs, respected American, German and British politicians of that era cite themselves and their colleagues, confirming that assurances were given, which were solemn and ironclad despite being verbal," the Russian top diplomat pointed out.
Lavrov also quoted a British participant of those processes, who had said in his memoirs that such promises had been given but no one had planned to keep them back then as the only goal had been to cool down the situation.
The foreign minister emphasized that Russia had not forgotten about the written commitments to refrain from expanding NATO, which had been signed at the highest level. "I am talking about the OSCE summit held in Istanbul in 1999, where the indivisible security concept was enshrined," Lavrov said. He added that under the concept, no country or organization should strengthen its security in the OSCE region at the expense of the security of others. However, these commitments aren’t being fulfilled, Lavrov stressed.