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18 January 2024, 14:32

Lavrov: U.S. policy of unrestrained NATO expansion provoked conflict in Ukraine

Sergey Lavrov. Image credit: the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sergey Lavrov. Image credit: the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) - The U.S. policy of “unrestrained expansion of the anti-Russian NATO bloc” into the post-Soviet space provoked the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2023, TASS has reported.
The minister highlighted that Russia "decided not to put up with the use of the Kiev regime as a tool to create direct threats to its security".
Moscow doesn't see "the slightest interest of either the United States or NATO in a fair resolution of the current Ukrainian conflict," Sergey Lavrov said. In general, the West is set on the escalation and is creating "additional strategic risks", unwilling to heed to Russia's concerns and talk seriously about the elimination of fundamental contradictions. Sergey Lavrov added that the West doesn’t want a constructive solution to the Ukrainian conflict that would take into account Russia's interests.
"Hopes that Russia will be somehow defeated have faded away," Sergey Lavrov stated. According to him, Russia will persistently and consistently move towards the stated goals of the special military operation.
Sergey Lavrov also said that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had reiterated more than once that Russia does not refuse to engage in negotiations with Ukraine. This goes as far back as 2022, when, mainly on the orders of Boris Johnson [former UK Prime Minister], Kiev bailed out from the already agreed settlement agreement with Russia. Moscow "doesn't walk away from negotiations, but those who do should understand that the longer they do it, the more difficult it will be to reach an agreement later". Sergey Lavrov emphasized that nowadays we can observe "the fulfillment of this prophecy".
During the press conference, Sergey Lavrov also spoke about the negative dynamics in strategic stability and security. This is due to the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world.
The Russian top diplomat said that at the upcoming special meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, he would set out proposals regarding the collective principles for resolving conflicts.

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