Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated that it was NATO, who “buried” the idea of consultations with Moscow. He added that the Kremlin and the western alliance hadn’t had exchanges for a long time ahead of Russia deciding to pull the plug on bilateral communications on 18 October.
“Speaking about NATO: I have already told you how it all started and how people in NATO simply buried the key rule that served as a basis for the NATO-Russia Council – specifically the need for urgent consultations in crisis situations. And this trend generally continues”.
He added that Russia had proposed to NATO more than once to reach agreements on the lines that their armies should not cross, how close they can come to shared borders, and on extending the locations for routine war games away from the said borders. All these proposals were met with silence by the alliance, the minister said, noting that the termination of the bilateral format was “a single response to three steps taken by NATO”.
Lavrov went on to blast the West’s reaction to the announcement about the termination of the bilateral contact format, calling it an attempt to shift the blame and a sign of lacking “diplomatic culture”. The minister further stated that if NATO wants to mend these bilateral ties, it should make the first step.