Russia says US ac­tions threaten it’s se­cu­rity

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov said yes­ter­day he had de­tected in­creas­ing US hos­til­ity to­wards Moscow and com­plained about what he said was a se­ries of ag­gres­sive US steps that threat­ened Russia’s na­tional se­cu­rity.

In an in­ter­view with Rus­sian state TV likely to worsen al­ready poor re­la­tions with Wash­ing­ton, Lavrov made it clear he blamed the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion for what he de­scribed as a sharp de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in USRus­sia ties. “We have wit­nessed a fun­da­men­tal change of cir­cum­stances when it comes to the ag­gres­sive Rus­so­pho­bia that now lies at the heart of US pol­icy to­wards Russia,” Lavrov told Rus­sian state TV’s First Chan­nel. “It’s not just a rhetor­i­cal Rus­so­pho­bia, but ag­gres­sive steps that re­ally hurt our na­tional in­ter­ests and pose a threat to our se­cu­rity.”

With re­la­tions be­tween Moscow and Wash­ing­ton strained over is­sues from Syria to Ukraine, Lavrov reeled off a long list of Rus­sian griev­ances against the United States which he said helped con­trib­ute to an at­mos­phere of mis­trust that was in some ways more dan­ger­ous and un­pre­dictable than the Cold War.

He com­plained that NATO had been steadily mov­ing mil­i­tary in­fra­struc­ture closer to Russia’s bor­ders and lashed out at West­ern sanc­tions im­posed over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine cri­sis. He also said he had heard that some pol­icy mak­ers in Wash­ing­ton were sug­gest­ing that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama sanc­tion the car­pet bomb­ing of the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment’s mil­i­tary air fields to ground its air force.

“This is a very dan­ger­ous game given that Russia, be­ing in Syria at the in­vi­ta­tion of the le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment of this coun­try and hav­ing two bases there, has got air de­fense sys­tems there to pro­tect its as­sets,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov said he hoped Obama would not agree to such a sce­nario. Russia sus­pended a treaty with Wash­ing­ton on clean­ing up weapons grade plu­to­nium ear­lier this month in re­sponse to what it said were “un­friendly acts” by the United States. Lavrov said both coun­tries had the right to pull out of the treaty in the event of “a fun­da­men­tal change in cir­cum­stances”.

“The treaty was con­cluded when re­la­tions were nor­mal, civ­i­lized, when no one ... was try­ing to in­ter­fere in the (other’s) in­ter­nal af­fairs. That’s the fun­da­men­tal change of cir­cum­stances,” said Lavrov. —Reuters

MOSCOW: Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French coun­ter­part Jean-Marc Ayrault ar­rive for a joint press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing their meet­ing in Moscow on Oc­to­ber 6, 2016.—AFP

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