Negotiations between the foreign and defence ministers of Russia and France took place in the French capital city of Paris on Friday in a “2+2” format.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledged that Moscow will take asymmetric retaliatory steps in response to any unfriendly actions by Western countries.
“We reaffirmed our intention to continue to show an exceptionally restrained approach, not to create problems artificially, but we will, of course, react to the unfriendly steps that the West is taking”, Lavrov said. “We will act in a reciprocal manner, and if necessary, also asymmetrically”.
Lavrov also noted that NATO has been acting “aggressively” towards Russia lately, specifically referring to the alliance’s recent naval build-up in the Black Sea.
The Russian Foreign Minister spoke to reporters after negotiations with French diplomats in Paris. The talks were held between officials from the two countries’ foreign and defence ministries.
According to Lavrov, among the discussed topics was the issue of strategic stability, particularly the challenges posed by the US’ exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (IRNFT) and Open Skies Treaty.
The United States withdrew from the Open Skies treaty in November 2020, having previously suspended its participation in the IRNFT in February 2019. The move prompted Russia to also announce its own exit from the two accords.