January 26, 2016 / 8:12 AM / 2 years ago

Russia won't allow to punish it for independent foreign policy - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will not allow the West to punish it for conducting an independent foreign policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“Attempts are still being made to make unilateral gains and even to punish us for an independent foreign policy,” Lavrov told his annual news conference.

“We are ready for the ... most constructive cooperation with our Western partners, including Europe and the United States ... but only and exclusively on an equal and mutually advantageous basis and given non-interference into each other’s internal affairs,” he said.

Lavrov said the U.S. anti-missile shield and NATO’s expansion closer to Russia’s borders were “destabilising and short-sighted”.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Vladimir Soldatkin; Writng by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Maria Kiselyova

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