Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Monday the security situation in Europe "abnormal," adding that it should be improved.
MINSK (Sputnik) – The existing situation in the security area in Europe is irregular and needs to be improved, Lavrov said Monday in the follow-up to the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) foreign ministers in Minsk.
"We have discussed a wide range of topics, related to the international and European security, including the situation in the military and political sphere in Europe, relations with the [North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO] and, on a whole, the tasks which we face within the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE] and other structures, where the ways of overcoming the current abnormal situation on the continent and return to cooperation are being discussed," Lavrov said, as quoted by the Foreign Ministry’s press service.
Lavrov noted that the Russian side provided the CSTO with details on developments in the NATO-Russia Council. In return, Lavrov said that the CSTO told the Russian side about their relations with partners and the Alliance.
"Everybody confirmed that, of course, the contacts with the NATO are made based on the fact that all of us have allied commitments within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty," Lavrov added.
NATO-Russia relations have been complicated over the past years. This has happened in part due to NATO's sustainable course for the Alliance’s expansion by engaging Eastern European states since 2014, justifying the expansion as a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly refuted these allegations. On December 22, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the NATO grouping near the Russian borders has grown threefold in the past 10 years and eightfold along the country's western borders.
The CSTO was established on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty, signed by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states on May 15, 1992. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan are the current CSTO members. Former member state Uzbekistan announced the suspension of its CSTO membership in 2012.
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