Lavrov: Patriot missile deployment in Turkey will lead to further regional destabilization

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

From RT:  [ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov iterated Russia’s concerns about plans to deploy Patriot missile systems on Turkish territory in a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

"Anders Fogh Rasmussen informed [Lavrov] about the situation related to Turkey’s request that NATO deploy Patriot air defense missiles on its territory. Lavrov reiterated Russia’s concerns about the plans to step up the military potential in the region and the proposal on establishing a direct communication line between Ankara and Damascus to avoid incidents." the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement it published on its website following the conversation.

Earlier, Lavrov used a theatrical metaphor to drive home Russia’s concern over the increased militarization of the region.

"Our concerns are rooted in the ‘Chekhov’s gun syndrome’ that says that if a gun appears on stage in the first act it will definitely fire by the third," he said.

The emergence of weapons at a time when attempts are being made to resolve a conflict creates risks – not necessarily due to the scenario, but because any stockpile of weapons naturally creates threats, he explained.

"Any provocation may trigger a very serious armed conflict. We want to avoid this," he said.

The minister stressed that Moscow understands Turkey’s concerns about the situation on its border with Syria, where clashes between Syrian government forces and the opposition are everyday occurrences, and refugees continue to stream into Turkey.

"All this incites tensions even in the absence of air defense missile systems," Lavrov said. 

From Today’s Zaman:  "The main concern is the more weapons there are, the greater the risk that they will be used." 

He [Lavrov} said Russia, which is not a member of NATO and cannot block a decision, understood that no one intended to drag the alliance into the Syrian crisis.

"But … in the military field, what is important is not intentions, but potential. And when potential increases, the risks grow," he said.  (photo: Reuters)

Image: reuters%2011%2023%2012%20Lavrov.jpg