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Lavrov: Russia-Belarus Actions Gain Significance Amid NATO's Expansion

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the photo bankThe welcoming ceremony for NATO's multinational battalion headed by the USA in Orzysz, Poland.
The welcoming ceremony for NATO's multinational battalion headed by the USA in Orzysz, Poland. - Sputnik International
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) attempts to rearrange the balance of power in Europe underscore the importance of Russia's joint steps with Belarus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Lavrov called NATO's eastward expansion and missile defense system deployment "in contradiction to the decisions of OSCE summits and the Russia-NATO summits on the creation of a single space of peace, security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic."

"In this regard, the concerted actions of our countries, including the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization], where the Belarusian friends are presiding this year, acquire special significance," Lavrov said alongside Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.

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Following the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, NATO has been boosting its military presence in Europe, particularly in Eastern European states, citing Russia's alleged interference in the conflict as justification for the move.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that amassing troops and military equipment on its borders is provocative, violates past NATO pledges, and can lead to regional and global destabilization.

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