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Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov Says That If NATO Wants To Enhance Relations, It Needs To Take The First Steps

If NATO truly wants to repair its ties with Russia, the US-led alliance needs to make the first move, because all of Moscow’s attempts at dialogue have been rejected, and the blame is completely on those in Brussels. This is as per a statement by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who told the press on Tuesday at the annual gathering of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi that Moscow is not responsible for Russia’s deteriorating ties with the hostile military bloc.

“We did not initiate the deterioration of relations with NATO, the European Union, or any other country in the West or any other region of the world. NATO was the one who buried the idea of talks with Russia,” Lavrov said to the Russian media. “As for NATO, I’ve previously explained how it all started. NATO members buried the main reason for the establishment of the Russia-NATO Council, which was to consult each other urgently in crisis situations. There haven’t even been any information exchanges with the North Atlantic Alliance’s headquarters in a long time,” he continued, accusing the bloc of “ignoring” Russia “for years” and slamming the US-led alliance for its “wall of silence.”

On Monday, Lavrov announced that Moscow would suspend all operations of its NATO representation, as well as the closure of the NATO information bureau in Moscow, in response to the bloc’s decision earlier this month to expel eight Russians over espionage allegations and “suspected malign Russian activities.” Lavrov called Moscow’s decision to withdraw its envoys from NATO a “retaliatory step.”

The foreign minister’s remarks come after Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed earlier in the day that communication between the two parties would not suffer since there had been none. “As our foreign minister has already stated, our ambassador in Brussels will be able to answer all relevant questions if necessary,” Peskov stated.

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