Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov insists NATO "has nothing to do with Ukraine" and should not interfere in talks on Donbas.
"When they [at NATO] say that they are ready for dialogue with Russia, they are not completely true – they are open for dialogue that they understand as advancing claims against us, primarily regarding Ukraine," Lavrov said after the 2020 Munich Security Conference, according to an UNIAN correspondent in the Russian Federation.
According to him, the Russia-NATO Council has never gathered "without an attempted ultimatum to force us to consider Ukrainian problems in this format."
"Our response is – and I mentioned this [to NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg when we met in Munich – that NATO has nothing to do with Ukraine. We have dialogue with those Western countries that are in charge of the Ukrainian settlement – primarily participants of the Normandy format – France and Germany," he said.
"And as Americans also joined these Ukrainian negotiations from time to time, at least in the last couple of years, we're still in contact with them but NATO as it is – they have nothing to do with the Ukrainian issue. They could only worsen it, deepen the problems by keeping on saying that NATO is looking forward to having Ukraine joining them. That's undermining the efforts to implement the Minsk agreements," he said.