Ukraine's non-aligned status is "one of the key components of European security," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
"There is a law in Ukraine that enshrines its non-aligned status. We assume that this is one of the key components of European security," Lavrov told a briefing in New York.
The minister also recalled Moscow's attitude towards NATO enlargement eastward, calling it "a completely pointless and provocative activity."
Having mentioned Ukraine in this respect, Lavrov said that there were no parallels between the EU-Ukraine association agreement and the country's accession to NATO. "It has a military political section which involves assistance on the part of the EU during the reform of the Ukrainian security sector, sending advisors, Ukraine must bring its laws in line, among other things, with those concerning export control and trade in dual-purpose products, but all this in the context of military ties between Ukraine and the EU," the Russian minister said.
NATO enlargement undermines the role of pan-European institutions by pushing the divisive lines eastward and putting military infrastructure, he said.
Russia will not allow another arms race, the minister said. "The Cold War mentality has not dispersed out of our NATO partners, unfortunately. But they are perfectly aware that attempts to impose the bloc-member status on Ukraine is a most serious threat to common European security. They understand it perfectly," Lavrov said.
"I am not just convinced, I know it for sure from talking to my colleagues in the overwhelming majority of Western countries, including most leading ones. They perfectly understand the unacceptability of such approaches from the viewpoint of the tasks of building the common European cooperation architecture," said the Russian foreign minister.
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