Questions arise about NATO’s activities in the Arctic, Lavrov said

Everything that Russia does in the Arctic is legal and legitimate, and questions arise about NATO’s activities, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Questions arise about NATO's activities in the Arctic, Lavrov said

“We see lamentations about the fact that Russia is deploying military activity in the Arctic. Everyone knew for a long time that this is our territory, our land. We are responsible for ensuring that our Arctic coast is safe, and everything that our country does there, absolutely legal and legitimate. But when NATO is trying to justify its attack in the Arctic, this is probably a slightly different situation. And here we have questions to our neighbors such as Norway, for example”, – he said to the press-conferences following the talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, David John Francis.

I emphasize again, this is not something that is close to us – this is our land and our waters. But when NATO is trying to justify its attack in the Arctic, this is probably a slightly different situation. And here we have questions about our neighbors like Norway, which is trying in every possible way to justify the need for NATO to enter the Arctic. In Reykjavik, at the ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council, of course, we will talk about this frankly, Lavrov said.

“If someone wants more predictability, to reduce the risks of a military plan, then I propose to return to our long-standing proposal to resume the operation of the mechanism of regular meetings of the chiefs of general staff of the armed forces of the Arctic Council member countries. This mechanism has functioned, but for some years seven ago, our western colleagues decided to freeze it. Well, if you decided to freeze it, then do not be offended that we have no dialogue – we didn’t stop the dialogue”, – the diplomat added.

We have renewed the proposal for this mechanism to be recreated. As a first step, we can start not at the level of chiefs of general staff, but hold a meeting at the level of military experts of the eight countries of the Arctic Council. Our proposal is on the table. We will hear in Reykjavik, including and how the United States views this position of ours, the minister added.

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