MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russia was hoping that Europe would realize that it is counterproductive "to lie all the time," including on the issue of NATO’s eastward expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2022 on Wednesday.
"I cited the example of the first Ukrainian maidan in 2004 when official Europe said that Ukraine should choose, whether [it is] with Europe or with us. This was three years before the Munich speech [by Russian President Vladimir Putin]. Even then we were hoping that reason would prevail and Europe would understand that it is impossible to lie all the time, it is impossible, for example, to constantly move NATO eastward in spite of the promises that were given," he said.
The Russian top diplomat noted that deceit on the part of Europe with regards to Russia is unacceptable not only according to verbal promises but also according to those "obligations recorded in the OSCE." "Nobody is bolstering their security at the expense of others’ security and not a single organization in the OSCE space can aspire to dominate," he said, stressing that these provisions are enshrined in official documents signed by the leaders of European countries.
Lavrov reiterated that the formula on refusing to dominate in Europe is also recorded in the documents of the Russia-NATO Council at the highest level. "If you think that NATO’s unreserved expansion despite our official protests is fulfilling this obligation, then, of course, we will hardly understand each other here," he stated.