Munich, Feb 18

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday accused Europe of sacrificing its common sense by allowing anti-Russian sentiments to dominate its policies.

Lavrov was speaking to the world leaders and diplomats who gathered at the 53rd Munich Security Conference here. He told the audience that European institutions had sacrificed common sense by adopting a Russophobic attitude, despite only a minority of its people thinking this way.

He went on to say that NATO continued to be a Cold War institution, Efe news reported.

Russia's top diplomat acknowledged, however, that Moscow sought to rekindle its ties with Washington, with relations based on pragmatism, mutual respect and a shared global responsibility.

In a previous conference speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented that ties between Russia and Europe were challenging, although she stressed the importance of Moscow's involvement in the global fight against terrorism.

She urged Russia to abide by the principles of the Minsk agreement - a ceasefire deal for the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine where, since 2014, a civil war has raged between pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine's Kiev government.

Lavrov insisted that Russian President Vladimir Putin was indeed abiding by the ceasefire programme, and that Ukraine's government had to uphold their side of the agreement.

 

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