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Lavrov Slams NATO’s Expansionism, as Russian Military Tests Iskander Ballistic Missile

July 23, 2016 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov bluntly denounced NATO’s dangerous expansionism, in remarks to a youth forum in Russia yesterday. According to TASS, Lavrov said: "They have rejected our proposal to ensure indivisible security: security can’t be ensured at the expense of others. Instead of this, they want to involve ever-more countries in NATO and tear them away from Russia." He traced the expansionist policy back to NATO’s 2008 summit in Bucharest which, although it did not have a "formal, legally biding decision" to expand NATO to include Ukraine and Georgia, nonetheless

"compensated by a political phrase in the final document to the effect that NATO members were sure that Georgia and Ukraine would be in NATO,"

Lavrov stated.

The Russian military command yesterday argued the same point a different way, with Eastern Military District spokesman Col. Alexander Gordeyev telling TASS that missile troops had carried out

"the first electronic launches from the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems in a tactical exercise at the Kaputsin Yar range in the Astrakhan region, southern Russia."

The article notes that the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles "were introduced into service during the single acceptance day in early July," noting in terms of capabilities that

"the missile flies an alterable trajectory with rapid acceleration, which allows it to overcome the enemy’s missile defense systems. The time it takes to launch ranges from 4 to 16 minutes."