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2 Dec, 2021 18:45

NATO broke promises in past, any new deals need to be legally binding – Moscow

NATO broke promises in past, any new deals need to be legally binding – Moscow

NATO continues to stir up tensions with Russia while refusing to work on resolving outstanding issues, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has claimed, reiterating Moscow’s calls for a comprehensive international security agreement.

Russia’s top diplomat touched upon the rocky relationship with the US-led alliance as he spoke after a ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday.

“NATO continues to escalate the situation right on our borders. NATO refuses to consider our proposals to defuse tensions and prevent dangerous incidents,” Lavrov said, adding that such an attitude not only poses a threat to Russia’s security, but also “inevitably affects the OSCE's work.”

At the same time, the foreign minister reiterated Moscow’s resolve to seek an international multi-party agreement that would guarantee the “prevention of further escalations and creation of new threats for Russia.” The idea of a comprehensive security deal was first floated by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, as he hosted a group of newly-arrived foreign ambassadors at the Kremlin.

“We’re interested in agreements which would take into account the security interests of all countries without any exceptions, we don’t seek any unilateral privileges, but we will stress that such agreements must be considered seriously,” Lavrov said.

Such agreements, should they ever materialize, must be legally-binding, Russia’s top diplomat stressed, adding that the West has repeatedly broken its promises in the past, for instance, with NATO's expansion eastwards despite oral guarantees given in the late Soviet era.

“We want the agreements that the president mentioned, and which we will seek, to necessarily have a legal, legally-binding nature. In the near future we will provide concrete proposals to our Western colleagues and we count on a serious attitude toward them,” Lavrov said.