On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to avoid taking steps that may lead to a third World War.
Lavrov was unequivocal about the prospects of war, “I believe everyone will be wise enough to prevent that. However, we are certainly very much concerned about the total absence of any professional dialogue between the Russian military and NATO.”
Members of the NATO-Russia Council have only met three times in the last two years and when they have, NATO focuses strictly on Ukraine and, Russia said, “attempts were made to use the NATO-Russia Council as another tool to blame all mortal sins on us, and another way of satisfying the whims of our Ukrainian neighbors who dream of sanctions being endlessly perpetuated and want nothing more than Russia to always be subject to intense criticisms.”
United States influence over NATO is a factor that Russia considers to be a determinant in the organization’s behavior. “So, look at this situation. I believe it is absurd to remain hostage to US legislator’s whims,” the minister added.
Lavrov's statement comes at a time when there have been military accidents in the region — such as the accidental shooting of a missile by a Spanish fighter jet in Estonia due to NATO activities — in addition to NATO member countries' intention to hold naval drills in the Sea of Azov bordering Russia’s eastern coast, which according to Lavrov, would require the Russian Federation’s permission.
In recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the United States is making the colossal mistake of countries that treat themselves as "empires," by imposing sanctions on countries around the world.