Lavrov: Arms control agreements based on Russia's proposals possible
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that NATO countries are systematically transforming Ukraine into a military foothold against Russia and building bases there.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sputnik that it is possible to sign arms control agreements based on Russia’s proposals on security guarantees. Lavrov stated that Moscow's proposals are aimed at creating and legalizing a new security system.
"On the basis of this legal foundation, other agreements may be reached in the future on a variety of issues, including conventional arms control,” Lavrov added.
The top diplomat also stated that any future agreements will not resemble the "outdated" Conventional Armed Forces Treaty in Europe.
He also stressed that "NATO countries are systematically transforming Ukraine into a military foothold against Russia and building bases there, using its territory for conducting exercises. If this year there were seven such maneuvers, then in the coming year, according to a law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada [the parliament] of Ukraine, 10 [drills are planned], including one year-round [exercise],” Lavrov said.
The Russian Minister also stated that the number of troops participating in drills in Ukraine will more than double by 2022, reaching 64,000.
Earlier, Lavrov said that NATO continues to reject the Russian proposals to ease tensions.
"The architecture of strategic stability is rapidly being destroyed, NATO refuses to constructively examine our proposals to de-escalate tensions and avoid dangerous incidents," Lavrov said at a press conference.
The top Russian diplomat warned Washington against "drawing Ukraine into the geopolitical games of the United States," which will have serious repercussions and lead to “retaliatory measures to straighten out the military-strategic balance.”