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Russia may be forced to ‘eliminate unacceptable threats’: Lavrov on Ukraine issue

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 Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

The Russian foreign minister says Moscow may be forced to “eliminate unacceptable threats” to national security, as US President Joe Biden reiterated threats against Russia during a 50-minute phone conversation with his counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Sergei Lavrov warned on Friday that the West’s aggressive approach and threat of sanctions could force Russia “to take all necessary measures to ensure a strategic balance and eliminate unacceptable threats to our security.” Lavrov said the US needs to offer a “constructive response within a reasonable time” to Russia’s security proposal.

Earlier this month, the Kremlin laid out in detail demands it has put to the US in order to lower tensions in Europe and defuse the crisis over Ukraine.

Lavrov said the proposals “are aimed at creating and legalizing a new system of agreements based on the principle of the indivisibility of security and abandonment of attempts to achieve military superiority, which was approved unanimously by the leaders of all Euro-Atlantic states in the 1990s.”

The White House said earlier that it would present its own concerns. But Washington has provided no response, yet.

Lavrov made the remarks after a conversation between President Biden and President Putin failed to defuse tensions.

During the conversation, Biden reiterated threats against Russia, saying Washington “and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.” 

The US, an ally of Ukraine, has accused Russia of carrying out a significant amount of military movement along its border with Ukraine. Russia has denied the allegation, saying it is free to move its troops around within its own borders and that its military buildup is not provocative. Moscow views it as defensive measures against Ukraine’s closer alliance with the West and aspirations to join NATO.

During their second conversation this month, Biden said he needed to see Russia decrease its military build-up near Ukraine.


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