Moscow does not want war but will not allow the West to grossly ignore its interests, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented speaking to four major Russian radio stations on Friday.
Lavrov stressed that the diplomatic dialogue between Moscow and the West is set to continue despite the clamor of warnings about war – at least for the time being- but underlined that if it’s up to Russia, there will be no war.
His comments come in light of the written responses’ delivery from the US and NATO to Russia on security guarantee proposals presented by Moscow in mid-December. The contents of the responses haven’t been made public as the US insisted.
However, the Russian foreign minister said Friday he would seek clarification of his Western counterparts on a key security question of interest to the Kremlin – their position on the principle of indivisibility in Euro-Atlantic security, as described in the 1999 Istanbul Document of the OSCE.
Amid fears of a further Russian invasion or other military strike on Ukraine, Lavrov’s point, however esoteric it might seem, and his comments are potentially important signal about Kremlin’s willingness to continue diplomatic talks.
While sharing no details on its content, Lavrov blasted NATO’s reply to Moscow’s proposals for a European security treaty as entirely ideological and embarrassing for the people who wrote the text.
He said the response has too much of a focus on NATO’s exceptionalism and so-called special purpose and mission and underscored that it wasn’t up to snuff, stressing that the US answer is almost a model of diplomatic decency when compared to what was sent from NATO.
Russian foreign minister also highlighted the fact that the reply from both Washington and NATO ignored Moscow’s demand for a legally binding commitment that NATO would stop its eastward expansion, which confirms US State Secretary Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Yens Stoltenberg’s previous insisting to uphold NATO’s “open door” policy.