NATO Expansion Led to Tension in Europe Unprecedented in Last 30 Years, Says Lavrov

NATO's expansion has led to an unprecedented level of tension over the last 30 years in Europe,  judging by some statements made at the Security Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, speaking in Munich.

Lavrov told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that he supports the resumption of military cooperation with the alliance. Without it, the diplomats’ meetings do not make any sense, he said. “We need to resume [our] military cooperation. [And yet] NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, surrounded by his deputies yesterday, couldn’t say that NATO is ready for this. It's sad,” Lavrov said.

Germany Warns US over Damaging Europe, NATO

 Germany has warned US President Donald Trump against damaging the European Union’s cohesion by abandoning shared values and pursuing a rapprochement with Russia, Press T.V reported.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen made the call during a hard-hitting speech at the first day of the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) on Friday.

Her comments came after Trump rattled Europe with his praise of  Brexit -- Britain’s decision to quit the EU -- his criticism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and his lenient approach towards Moscow.

Top Russian Senator Vows to Raise Syria Issue at Global Parliamentary Gathering

The head of Russia’s upper house Committee for International Relations wants to discuss Syria at the upcoming session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union – a global inter-parliamentary forum – in order to gain the coordinated support of the world community.

"I propose to come up with a joint initiative of yet another discussion concerning Syria that would emphasize the support to the Geneva and Astana processes. These are the processes that gained momentum after our October discussion, they require separate attention from us and consolidated support from the international parliamentary community,” Konstantin Kosachev said during a televised conference between Moscow, Damascus and Astana organized by Rossiya Segodnya, according to RT.

Russian, Iranian Top Diplomats Discuss Syria, Bilateral Relations in Munich

MOSCOW-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed on Friday the situation in Syria and Russia-Iran relations during a meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

 More than 30 heads of state and government, over 80 foreign and defense ministers are participating in the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) that kicked off on Friday, Sputnik reported.

Russia Urges Equal Representation of All "Syrian Opposition" Groups in Forthcoming Geneva Meeting

MOSCOW, (ST)- Moscow affirms the need for equal representation of all "Syrian opposition" groups in the forthcoming Geneva talks on settlement in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov announced in a statement on Friday.

Earlier today, Yara Shareef, Spokesperson for the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, said the UN envoy is still putting the finishing touches on the list of the parties who will attend the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva scheduled to begin on February 23.  

Russian Long-Range Bombers Missiles Target Daesh in Raqqa

Russian Tu-95MS long-range bombers have launched cruise missile strikes on Daesh targets near the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

According to Sputnik, Russian strategic bombers destroyed several terrorist camps, training centers and a command post of one of the major terrorists' units near Daesh's de facto capital of Raqqa.

The ministry said that "reconnaissance means have confirmed the destruction of all designated [terrorist] targets" near Raqqa.

Putin: NATO Keeps Trying to Draw Russia into Confrontation, Meddle in Internal Affairs

  NATO is constantly trying to draw Russia into a confrontation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that members of the alliance continue to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs.

The accusations came as Putin addressed senior members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB on Thursday. The president said that over the past years the global security situation “has not improved, but on the contrary, many existing threats have only become more serious.”

NATO with its “newly-declared official mission to deter Russia” is one such threat, Putin said.

US, Zionist Leaders' New Claims 'Worthless', Says Qassemi

 Iran says Israel's atomic weapons arsenal represents the biggest threat to the world peace, dismissing new allegations by Zionist and US leaders against Iran's nuclear program as "hollow" and "worthless".

The reaction on Thursday came a day after US President Donald Trump called Iran's nuclear program a threat to Israel during a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

"The statements did not contain any new point except being a repetition of hollow and worthless allegations against Iran's peaceful nuclear program," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.