Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave an interview for ‘Argumenty i Fakty’ newspaper. The Minister said in particular:
- The state visit by President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping to Russia on March 20-22 was his first foreign trip after being re-elected as head of state and is a milestone in the most recent history of Russian-Chinese relations which highlights the unprecedented level and special nature of bilateral cooperation.
- The heads of state stated the importance of continuing close foreign policy coordination. We share a vision of what is causing major international security challenges. We note the West's unwillingness to conduct a dialogue between the states based on the principles of equality. We oppose the use of sanctions pressure or other unfair competition tools. Our strategic cooperation is not directed against third countries, but contributes to the balanced development of the international system in its entirety.
- The PRC leader’s visit was widely covered by international media and literally made headlines around the globe which confirms the fact that the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership has long since transcended an exclusively bilateral context. Clearly, the world has heard our articulated common positions on the key issues of our time.
- Today, the United States and its NATO satellites have made an extremely risky bet on further escalation of the conflict. The collective West has openly declared the goal of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia.
- For our part, we remain open to contacts, but on an equal footing and with mandatory consideration of Russia’s interests in order to improve the situation in Europe and the Euro-Atlantic region and reduce nuclear risks in the long run. The main prerequisite here is for the West to abandon its aggressive and hostile policy. However, the West is not willing to do this or to start a constructive dialogue with us, but is instead looking 24/7 for new ways to contain Russia. This policy is clearly dangerous which is what we are trying to convey to our Western colleagues using every available avenue.
- The United States and its allies are doing all they can to isolate Russia internationally. For example, they are trying to torpedo the second Russia-Africa Summit scheduled to take place in St Petersburg in late July. They are trying to dissuade our African friends from taking part in it.
- However, there are fewer and fewer volunteers willing to sacrifice their vital interests for Washington and its henchmen and to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for the former colonial powers. Therefore, attempts to undermine our cooperation with the states of the global South and East will persist, although their success is far from guaranteed.
- Our main difference from the Westerners is that we never lecture our foreign partners on how they should live. We do not have a hidden agenda or double standards. We are building our interstate interaction on the principles of international law, equality, mutual respect and consideration of interests. We believe that this creative approach appeals to Africans and not only them. All normal countries find it attractive.
- The EU has lost Russia but this is of its own making. The EU countries and EU leaders are openly talking about the need to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, as they put it. They are pumping the criminal Kiev regime full of weapons and ammunition, and are sending instructors and mercenaries to Ukraine. This is why we consider the EU to be an unfriendly association.
- If the Europeans decide one day to give up their anti-Russia course and start a mutually respectful dialogue with Russia, we will review their proposals and make decisions proceeding from our national interests that President Vladimir Putin has approved in the new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation.
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