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Lavrov: U.S. intent to withdraw from INF requires response from Belarus-Russia Union State, CSTO

Politics 21.11.2018 | 14:51

MINSK, 21 November (BelTA) – The U.S. intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), the build-up of Nato's military activity near the borders of Belarus and Russia requires a response from the Union State and the CSTO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today at a joint meeting of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Belarus in Minsk on 21 November, BelTA has learned.

During the meeting, the parties expressed concern over the increasing tensions in the Eurasian continent, which, according to Sergei Lavrov, are largely due to the Nato's escalating military activity near the borders of the two countries and also due to Washington's intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“Of course, this creates challenges to our security, which requires appropriate response from the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” the Russian diplomat said.

When asked about the risks faced by the international law in the context of the West's determination to retain its dominance in international affairs, Sergei Lavrov said that collective work on the approaches to combat contemporary threats is in the interests of the entire international community.

“Still these risks remain and are increasing in scale,” he said. “There are attempts to turn the universal instrument of international law, the Chemical Weapons Convention, into an instrument to promote the West's policy by, in fact, invading the prerogative of the UN Security Council. Something similar may happen to the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention which was adopted, ratified and took effect many years ago. However, we still cannot develop, together with a number of other countries, a mechanism to verify the observance of the convention by its parties,” Sergei Lavrov said.

Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei added that today all big geopolitical players should understand that it is impossible to ensure security in the world and the region to the detriment of other geopolitical players.

“We need to act together. We need to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss how we can get back to the observance of international law and respond to the present-day challenges and threats together. We need a dialogue and a sincere interest in it from all the stakeholders,” he stressed.

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