Lavrov: ‘We are not closing the door to the West, it is them who are closing the door to us’
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov gave an interview to RT in which he spoke about the special operation in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by the West in response to it. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“Europe has already stopped trying to remain independent”
The events in Ukraine are the quintessence of the West's strategic course to marginalise Russia and reduce its role in all areas in world politics, economics, sports, art, trade, science, education, Lavrov said.
According to him, the United States wants to “bring the world back to a unipolar order”:
“It seems to me that Europe has already 99% stopped trying to remain independent, although President [of France Emmanuel] Macron says that strategic autonomy for the European Union is his goal and he will fight for it, but I believe that he will not succeed.”
Lavrov drew attention to Germany, which is “already absolutely ready to follow the instructions of the United States”:
“And the situation with Nord Stream 2 tells us clearly what place Germany occupies in world politics now. The United States have convinced the Europeans that they know much better than the Europeans themselves what exactly is needed for the security and well-being of Europe.”
“Sanctions pressure will continue”
Lavrov also spoke about sanctions, which, in his opinion, have always only strengthened Russia.
“Sanctions pressure will continue. They are also now threatening with the fifth wave of sanctions, maybe there will be another wave after that, but we have become accustomed to it," the minister said. “The latest round of sanctions is unprecedented. As President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin said, we are the champion in the number of sanctions that have been imposed on the Russian Federation — more than five thousand individual measures. This is almost twice as much as the number of sanctions imposed against North Korea and Iran.”
Lavrov stressed that Russia will endure sanctions pressure from the West:
“Returning to the issue of sanctions: we will survive. The measures that are being developed by the president [of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin], the government, are gradually being announced, and this is only the beginning of adjusting our economic course to adapt to new circumstances.”
“Now we can only count on ourselves and those allies”
Russia can no longer count on Western partners, Lavrov said:
“I think that now the illusion that we can count on Western partners has been completely destroyed. Now we can only count on ourselves and on those allies who will remain standing next to us. This is the most important conclusion for Russia in the context of geopolitics.”
However, Russia does not refuse to cooperate with the West.
“We are not closing the door to the West, it is them who are closing the door to us," said the minister of foreign affairs of Russia. “When they come to their senses, when this door is opened again, we will look at the proposed cooperation projects, but we will look at them, remembering one thing: we will cooperate with them, remembering perfectly that we cannot think that they are reliable, that they are reliable long-term allies.”
“The idea of expelling Russians from Ukraine still occupies the thoughts of the politicians of this country”
Denazification in Ukraine, which is the goal of Russia's special operation, implies the abolition of any laws that discriminate against the Russian-speaking population, Lavrov said:
“The very idea of expelling Russians from Ukraine still occupies the thoughts of the politicians of this country. Lets' take, for example, Oleh Tyahnybok (leader of the Ukrainian nationalist Svoboda party — editor's note), this is a radical party. He talks about the need for derussification, that's what he calls it. He says that derussification means that ethnic Russians should have neither their own identity, nor language, nor history in Ukraine.”
The Russian foreign minister recalled the statement of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky:
“I have already said that ultra-radicals called for the expulsion of Russians from Crimea, and last September President Zelensky said the following: 'If you think you are Russian, if you want to be Russian, if you want to be friends with Russia, please go to Russia.' He said that just a few months ago.”
Realnoe Vremya continues to follow the events. Read all relevant information about the special military operation in Ukraine in a story of the online newspaper.