MUNICH — Russia wants pragmatic relations with the United States but also is hoping for the creation of a “post-West world order,” the country’s foreign minister said Saturday, dismissing the NATO military alliance as a Cold War relic.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s comments at the Munich Security Conference came hours after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told the gathering that the U.S. will “hold Russia accountable” even as the Trump administration searches for common ground with Moscow.

“What kind of relations do we want with the U.S.? Pragmatic relations, mutual respect, understanding our special responsibility for global stability,” Lavrov said. “We have immense potential that has yet to be tapped into, and we’re open for that, inasmuch as the U.S. is open for that as well.”

Lavrov declared to the conference that the NATO military alliance “remained a Cold War institution.”

“Responsible leaders should make a choice. I hope that the choice will be done in favor of creating a democratic and just world order,” Lavrov said, speaking through an interpreter.

“If you want, you can call it a ‘post-West world order,’ when each country, based on its sovereignty within the rules of international law, will strive to find a balance between its own national interests and the national interests of partners.”

filed under: