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US hostility towards Russia threatens national security: FM Lavrov

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou on September 5, 2016.

Russia says that Washington’s increasing hostility towards Moscow is threatening the country’s national security.

During a televised interview on Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the US government for worsening ties between the two countries.

"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," he said.

Lavrov noted that the US stance on conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and a recent lapse in nuclear cooperation between the two nations as examples of Washington’s hostility.

"It's not just a rhetorical Russophobia, but aggressive steps that really hurt our national interests and pose a threat to our security," he added.

In 2014, clashes erupted between the US-backed government in Kiev and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine. The US and EU have accused Russia of playing a role in Ukraine’s conflict. Moscow, however, denies the allegations.   

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov leaves a hall after addressing deputies during a session of the State Duma, Russia's lower chamber of Parliament, in Moscow on June 15, 2016.

Last week, Russia suspended a nuclear and energy sector cooperation treaty with the US over Washington-imposed sanctions due to the crisis in Ukraine and suspended another treaty with the US on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, over “a threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US against Russia.”   

"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," noted Lavrov.

He added that NATO’s continued military buildup along Russia’s borders is also another sign of the US’s increasing hostility towards Moscow.

On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed that the growing tensions between Russia and the US are “more dangerous” than those of the Cold War era. 

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