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NATO a tension-maker: Russian minister

Moscow : Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) would create tensions with Moscow even if there was no Ukraine crisis.

“As you know, the NATO has not ceased to expand. It looks for the meaning to exist. Afghanistan helped for some time,” Lavrov said.

“If there is no more Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union, and the troops have already left, why maintain NATO and all that attributes of the Cold War era?”

“Afghanistan only weighs on NATO solidarity,” Lavrov added.

The minister said that, if not Ukraine, any other aspect of Russian domestic or foreign policy would be used as a reason for NATO speculation.

“We have seen it with Syria, when the West declared Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can no more be considered a partner, while we said the regime should not be toppled, and negotiations are necessary,” he said.

Lavrov added that “inertia and inability” to resist attempts to drive all Europeans under the NATO roof persisted.

Lavrov also called on the international community to send a humanitarian mission to eastern Ukraine.

“Today I am forwarding an official address to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC ) and the UN to provide humanitarian aid to Luhansk, Donetsk and neighbouring towns,” he said.