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Russian FM calls for "post-West" order at Munich Security Conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday that his country wants pragmatic and mutually respectful relations with the United States, calling for a "post-West" order at the ongoing Munich Security Conference (MSC).

His remarks came hours after the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told MSC that his country will "continue to hold Russia accountable" for the Ukrainian issue, even as the U.S. President Donald Trump is searching for new common ground with Moscow.

Lavrov said that Russia is not looking for conflicts with anyone but will protect its interests. He said Russia wants the Russian-U.S. relations to be based on "pragmatism, mutual respect and an understanding of special responsibility for global security."

The Russian top diplomat called for a "post-West order," saying "post Western values" include post-democracy, justice, tolerance, liberty, civil rights, human rights, freedom, open society and peace.

He said that predictability and well-wishing towards the country's neighbors has always been a goal of Russian policy.

Lavrov insisted that the expansion of NATO, a cold-war institution, has led to an unprecedented level of tension over the last decades in Europe.

"Judging by some statements at the Munich Security Conference, the Cold War has not ended yet," the minister said.

Responding to a question on alleged election interference in the U.S. and France, Sergey Lavrov said: "give us some facts."

[Source: Xinhua, Munich, 18Feb17]

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