Russia has slammed expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization a “reckless” mistake that menaces Europe’s security.
“We believe, and we’ve been talking about it since the very beginning of the current historical period that the reckless, endless expansion of NATO is a mistake that undermines Europe’s stability,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a joint presser with his visiting Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó in the capital Moscow on Wednesday.
Lavrov also praised Hungary, a NATO member, for efforts against the promotion of “Russophobe” policies by the European Union and NATO.
The Russian foreign minister further called for the restoration of “pragmatic” and “mutually beneficial cooperation between Europe and Russia.”
Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.
Relations were strained further after Ukraine launched military operations in mid-April to silence pro-Russia protests in the country’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine.
The US and the European Union accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a series of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures. Moscow, however, rejects the accusation.
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