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Russia’s Foreign Minister on NATO influencing CSTO’s neighbors

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has given a big interview to the program “Picture of the World”. In his interview to Yuri Koziyatko, Sergei Lavrov commented on the provocative behavior of the USA, the missile-nuclear actions of Pyongyang and the situation concerning the 218 Olympic Games in South Korea.

Yuri Koziyatko:
Sergei Viktorovich, if the military issue has brought you to Minsk, let’s begin from this issue then. What do you think, celebrating its anniversary, not a small anniversary, has the CSTO become an alternative and a counterbalance to NATO?

Sergei Lavrov:
First of all I do not think that the CSTO is only military and military-political issues. It is also big politics, integration politics. The provision of security in all its dimensions on our mutual territory. Provision of antiterrorist, anticriminal, antidrug security-security in all its forms.

The anniversary is certainly important-25 years to the Collective Security Treaty and 15 years to the organization of the treaty, which has now reached, I think, the stage of its ripeness. And in the majority of directions, which were specified by the heads of states, we have a vivid, important and vital progress.

As for the comparison with other military-political blocks and structures, I see not necessity to chase after the reputation which NATO has. We have different aims. Fundamentally, NATO exists artificially. After the Soviet Union collapsed, when the Warsaw Treaty dispread, NATO lost its reason for existence. And primarily, our American and oversea colleagues supported the military-political block of the North Atlantic Alliance in their zeal not to lose leverage over Europe. It is a vivid truth, and any political expert knows it and has perceived it a long time ago.

The issue of Afghanistan arose, where NATO representatives kept their reason for unification for practically a decade. And when Afghanistan disappeared as an issue uniting them, they had to think of something else. And the Russian Federation as a country came around, which stands for its interests in close cooperation with its allies in the area which historically belongs to all of us. It caused dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction with us not agreeing to the serious violations of agreement by NATO, reached in the 1990’s. Specifically about security being indivisible, that NATO will not expand to the East. Further as a compromise it was agreed that the expansion of NATO to the East won’t be accompanied by substantive military forces on the territories of the new members of the organization.

All these agreements were violated by NATO in a grossest way; they tried putting all of our neighbors before a choice: either you are with Russia, or you are with the West. We have seen what it has brought Georgia and Ukraine to. I really hope that the Collective Security Treaty won’t follow this way. We never intimidate, we do not issue an ultimatum. We are preoccupied by our own security on the territory of the CSTO states. We have plenty of worries ourselves and we are not aiming at playing geopolitical games.

Russia’s Foreign Minister on NATO influencing CSTO’s neighbors