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Lavrov: Europe uses 'myth' of 'Russian threat' to escalate arms race

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined that Western countries are utilizing the notion of an alleged Russian threat to fuel the arms race and establish a European military coalition that includes nuclear capabilities.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 18,2024

Western countries are using the myth of an imaginary Russian threat to escalate the arms race and form a "European military alliance with a nuclear component," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Russian Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow, Lavrov said the acute phase of the military-political confrontation between Russia and the West continues and is in full swing.

Addressing Europe's plans to restore the number and combat readiness of the armies of its states, as well as the transfer of military-industrial complexes of NATO countries to wartime mode, the minister assessed them as an "escalation."

The diplomat stressed that French President Emmanuel Macron spearheaded the anti-Russian movement in Europe, saying: "Emmanuel Macron admitted in an interview the other day that Paris and Berlin have always seen Russia as the main threat."

Russia remains open to dialogue with the West on security and strategic stability, but only if interests of both sides are taken into account, he asserted.

"Not from a position of strength, not from a position of one's own exclusivity, but only on equal terms and with respect for each other's interests," he underscored.

He also noted that taking into account the current position of Western politicians, it would be fair to say that Europe will not be relevant as a partner for Russia for at least one generation.

Turning to the situation in Ukraine, Lavrov said Russia will defend its interests in this country and criticized the upcoming summit on the Ukrainian settlement in Switzerland as "having no prospects."

As for the West's build-up of long-range arms supplies to Ukraine, Russia sees them as a signal of unreadiness for a serious conversation on the peaceful settlement, he added.

"This means that they have made their choice in favor of a showdown on the battlefield," he said.

Based on the current circumstances, Moscow deems as a more appropriate option the formation of global security from Eurasia as the regional alliances in this sector are established on the principles of mutual and indivisible security, he noted.

This idea was discussed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China this week, including with President Xi Jinping, he said.