A serious conversation on armaments in Europe is possible only if there is an objective analysis of each state’s military potential, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council’s meeting.

 

“We need to stop and take breath,” Lavrov said, adding that first it is important to start a “serious conversation” on the matter. 

 

“Then we could understand if there is an imbalance and how to move on,” he said. 

 

Russia’s top diplomat said there was a discussion on Germany’s initiative aimed at creating conditions for resuming talks on armaments in Europe. “This process was interrupted not by us, but by our Western partners who flatly refused to ratify the adapted Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE),” Lavrov said.

 

Lavrov recalled that the NATO member-states undertook commitments to ratify this adapted Treaty in 1999. “We had waited for them for almost 10 years. All members of the alliance refused to ratify it.” “That’s why in 2008 we decided that this situation cannot hold anymore and this would be indecent,” he said. “We suspended our participation in the main Treaty what was the reason for constant calls on us to resume the talks on armaments limitations.”

 

“Everyone calls on Russia to return to a positive period when the CFE was created, the document on the measures of trust in security sphere,” the minister said. Lavrov stressed that these documents were drawn up in late 1990s when there was “an equal and mutually respecting dialogue” and “no one used unilateral restrictive measures against anyone.”

 

Now NATO is actively dragging new members into it, including Montenegro. “NATO has been advancing its infrastructure towards Russia’s borders. For the first time in many years, the US has been deploying its heavy military assets in the Baltic states,” the Russian foreign minister noted. “But still, NATO keeps repeating that it won’t admit new members.”

 

“Frantic attempts are being made to drag Montenegro into NATO, no one asks if this country’s people want it although it would no harm to have consultations on such matter,” Lavrov added. “It seems, the goal is to make Montenegro a NATO member before Barack Obama leaves office. However, these attempts do NATO no credit.”.