Lavrov says Lithuania ‘the kernel of Russophobia’ in NATO

Sergei Lavrov
Reuters/Scanpix

Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Lavrov said: “We have always warned that, should the Alliance keep expanding endlessly to the east, […] one must understand that the presence of military infrastructure close to Russia’s borders will naturally make us take necessary military-technical measures. It’s nothing personal, pure business.”

He has accused the alliance of turning things “upside down” by blaming Russia for the recent tensions between NATO and Moscow.

“We are constantly told that NATO has no intention of doing any harm to Russia’s security. Still, even if there is not intention, but the infrastructure is at our doorstep, we will probably have to defend ourselves not from intention, but from what we see with our own eyes,” the Russian foreign minister is quoted by newsru.com.

He has singled out Lithuania as the most Russophobic country among the Baltics, pushing NATO to take the “anti-Russian road”.

“And that has nothing to do with the Russian-speaking populations. For instance, when these countries regained independence, there were issues that we solved through exclusively diplomatic means, for instance, with Latvia and Estonia where a lot of people didn’t get citizenship. Lithuania gave citizenship to all its people. Therefore we had no issues with the Lithuanians,” Lavrov insists.

He says that Moscow was planning to work closely with Vilnius on questions like the Kaliningrad transit and economic cooperation. But now “Lithuania has turned out to be the most Russophobic country among the Baltic States,” according to Lavrov.

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