NATO wishes to continue its expansion into the Balkan region and is “obsessed with the idea of acquiring” it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Bulgarian magazine “Foreign Affairs.”
The diplomat stressed that the alliance is going to turn the Balkans into a new “front of confrontation in Europe.”
According to Lavrov, NATO urges the countries in the region to be “either with Moscow, or with Washington and Brussels” and undermine Russia’s historical ties there. However, NATO is incapable of countering “the main modern challenge” – terrorism – but still justifies its existence using Cold War logic aiming to deter Russia, according to Lavrov.
Earlier in February, Lavrov said that the US is trying to get a foothold in Europe by means of NATO.
“Only an inflamed imagination” could come up with the idea that Moscow is about to attack the Baltic or Poland, the Russian top diplomat said in an interview with Euronews.
“Guided by this fake logic, a very real deployment of heavy artillery and additional large contingents takes place on the NATO-Russia border,” Lavrov said, referring to Baltic states, Poland, and Romania with its missile defense site. With American, Canadian, British and German brigades already dispatched to Russia’s doorstep, “there are talks of significantly increasing their presence.”
“There is no Balkan state where the US ambassador together with the Europeans would not call on the government to end friendships with Russia.” While they publicly try to undermine Moscow's ties with the Balkans, including with Serbia, Russia has taken a different approach. “We offer mutually beneficial projects. We never demand that anyone stops being friends with this or that country,” Lavrov went on, noting this is “a fundamental difference between our foreign policy from the one of the West.”