Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that Moscow will respond to any provocative moves by the United States to drag Ukraine into “geopolitical games” as tensions between the two sides escalate over Russia’s neighbor.
Russia’s Interfax news agency cited Lavrov as raising the alarm during talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Swedish capital of Stockholm on Thursday.
The top Russian diplomat also said that Russia and the United States needed to agree on long-term security guarantees.
In a news conference after the summit, Lavrov stressed that Moscow would take measures to ensure its own security if the United States and its allies refused to discuss security guarantees with Russia.
The Russian foreign minister also pointed to earlier proposals by Moscow for a new European security pact that would stop NATO from expanding further east.
“NATO continues to escalate the situation on our borders, refuses to consider our proposals to de-escalate tensions, prevent dangerous incidents. As you know, we have been proposing merely specific actions on these issues. Military capabilities in eastern Europe, including near Russian borders, are actively built up, while at the same time we hear air-shaking statements about us. All this inevitably affects the activities of the OSCE,” Lavrov told the presser.
“If the NATO members continue to avoid talking about this topic or about the arrangement that President Vladimir Putin has put forward, of course, we will take measures so that our security, our sovereignty, and our territorial integrity do not depend on anyone,” he added.
Lavrov also said that the spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions between Moscow and Washington had gone too far in recent years.