Published on: Nov 17, 2018 @ 16:28 – The West is taking persistent steps to transform the Balkan countries into another platform to be used against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Serbian newspaper Srpski Telegraf.

The minister stressed that after the end of the Cold War, Western Europe refused to work together to create a common security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic region, despite frequent requests by Russia. Instead, Western countries have chosen the no-win way of expanding geopolitical space under their control, as well as creating new dividing lines on the European continent, Lavrov noted.

“For example, in 1999, grossly violating international law, Yugoslavia was bombed for two and a half months, and then, in an attempt to legalize the aggression, unilaterally recognized the independence of Kosovo,” the minister said.

According to him, one of the results of this anti-Russian policy was the plan “directed and supported” by the US and several European countries that led to the coup in Kiev in February 2014.

“It seems that the lessons of the Ukrainian tragedy have not been learned in the West. There are persistent attempts to turn the Balkan countries into another platform against Russia, and the countries of the region are persistently required to make a choice: either with Moscow or with Washington and Brussels,” the minister stressed.

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Lavrov added that Russia is aware of the pressure exerted on Belgrade in order for the Serbs to end any cooperation with Moscow, however, he stressed that Serbia “strongly opposes” this.

“Moscow very much appreciates Serbia’s multifaceted and independent foreign policy which undoubtedly serves the main interests of its people,” Lavrov said.

This also comes at a time when growing unrest is occurring in Kosovo, with some even suggesting that the ‘inevitable’ conflict between the Serbs and the quasi-independent Kosovo. Kosovo is dominated by Albanians who became the majority in the Serbian-historic province during the Ottoman occupation era.

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