- Title: Russia, Belarus foreign ministers discuss NATO
- Date: 5th June 2017
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JUNE 5, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FOREIGN MINISTRY BUILDING DELEGATES STANDING AS RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV AND BELORUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VLADIMIR MAKEI ENTER ROOM PHOTOGRAPHER LAVROV AND MAKEI DURING MEETING DELEGATES LISTENING WIDE OF MEETING REPORTERS AHEAD OF NEWS CONFERENCE LAVROV AND MAKEI APPROACHING DESK MEDIA LAVROV AND MAKEI SHAKING HANDS AND EXCHANGING SIGNED DOCUMENTS REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "We expressed serious concern over the strengthening of military activity of the North-Atlantic Alliance (NATO) in their so called west wing. Activities that undermine the strategic balance of the Euro-Atlantic and create threats to the security of our nations." PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BELORUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, VLADIMIR MAKEI, SAYING: "We proceed (from the position that) our relationship with NATO must be based on mutual respectful dialogue, in consideration of reciprocal interests and solving all possible problems at the discussion table. We will act further to de-escalate tensions and prevent conflict situations, to secure and strengthen regional and global security." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING (ASKED ABOUT CURRENT DIPLOMATIC ROW IN THE GULF): "We believe that any number of contradictions can take place, but we have never taken pleasure from the difficulties in relations between other countries, we are interested in supporting good relations with everyone, especially in a region where now there is a concentration of all efforts on fighting mutual threat, the threat of international terrorism." FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON MARIA ZAKHAROVA LOOKING DOWN AT SMARTPHONE LAVROV AND MAKEI SHAKING HANDS AT END OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 19th June 2017 13:22
- Keywords: Vladimir Makei Belarus Sergei Lavrov Russian Foreign Minsiter
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016K02IWP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Belorussian counterpart Vladimir Makei discussed NATO military activity and affirmed their positions at a meeting on Monday (June 5).
Lavrov said both countries "expressed serious concerns over the strengthening of military activity" of the North-Atlantic Alliance (NATO), adding it "undermines the strategic balance of the Euro-Atlantic and create threats to the security of our nations."
Makei said relations with NATO must be based on mutual interests and aim to strengthen security around the globe.
Talks between the two officials came as Russia and Belarus mark 25 years of diplomatic relations.
Russia and Belarus aim to hold joint war games in September that some North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies believe could number more than 100,000 troops and involve nuclear weapons training, the biggest such exercise since 2013.
Russia, bridling at NATO's expansion eastwards into its old Soviet sphere of influence, says its exercises are a response to NATO's 4,000-strong new deterrent force in the Baltics and Poland that will begin to rotate through the region from June.
The West has sought to improve ties with Belarus over the past two years, lifting some sanctions in an overture to the country's President Alexander Lukashenko, the man the West calls Europe's "last dictator."
But Belarus remains Russia's ally and a member of Vladimir Putin's Eurasian trade bloc.
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