Sergey Lavrov: Western attempts to isolate Russia have failed. Our enemies had to admit this

14:13 16.02.2023 •

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks during the Government Hour in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Moscow, February 15, 2023. Some key points:

- At this current historical stage our efforts – to create favorable external conditions for resolving our domestic socio-economic goals and improving the living standards of the Russian people, encounter fierce resistance of those who imagine themselves the masters of the destinies of people. They are trying to interfere with our efforts by pushing us back decades and even to ruin our national development under the slogans of “decolonisation” and “preparations for Russia’s collapse.”

- The Anglo-Saxons and the rest of the collective West that have obeyed them without a murmur, are doing all they can to impose their dictate in world affairs. They are doing this to continue controlling the external conditions for the development of all humanity for the sake of their own global domination. They resort to illegal methods including threats, blackmail and outright robbery to punish those that are pursuing independent national-oriented foreign policy.

- Our updated Foreign Policy Concept will stress the need to end the Western monopoly on creating a framework of international life. From now on, this framework will be determined not by the self-centred interests of the West but by the fair universal balance of interests in line with the UN Charter that has fixed the principle of sovereign equality of all states.

- Crudely violating this fundamental principle of civilised international communication, the United States and its allies are obsessed with a maniacal striving to restore a neocolonialist unipolar world order and impede the objective process of the formation and rise of new global centres. As President of Russia Vladimir Putin noted in his speech at the Kremlin on September 30, 2022, they are doing all this to continue “to collect an actual tribute from humanity, to extract rent to be paid to the hegemon.” Russia’s deterrence over many years has been a component part of this course, including through NATO’s expansion to our borders and the turning of fraternal Ukraine into an “anti-Russia,” a Russophobic military bridgehead. In the past few years, this policy of Washington and its European satellites has reached a point of no return.

- We gave up illusions about the true goals of the Westerners long ago. We remembered how they failed to fulfil their specific political commitments, given to the Soviet leaders, not to expand the North Atlantic Alliance.

- We remembered how Germany, France and Poland renounced their signatures under the agreement between President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. By doing this, they actually sanctioned the bloody state coup in Kiev in February 2014 under openly Nazi, racist slogans.

- During all these years, the Western curators were directly pushing the criminal Kiev regime to the power solution of the Donbass problem, shutting their eyes to inevitable ethnic cleansing and the physical destruction of Russians and Russian-speaking people.

- It is enough to mention the recent cynical confessions by former Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and ex-President of France Francois Hollande. They admitted that they needed the Minsk Package of Measures approved by the UN Security Council, merely to gain time to allow Kiev to build up its military potential. Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky also admitted this. The public statements by these figures are basically a confession; they actually admitted that they disrupted the Minsk agreements that the Western leaders proclaimed a non-alternative foundation for settlement in Donbass. Simply put, all of them lied to us. They are also lying to us now, concealing the truth about the acts of terrorism at the Nord Stream pipelines.

- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg joined the chorus of self-incriminating statements. He said in Brussels that the war started in 2014. NATO was preparing for it from the moment of the state coup and the advent of Nazis to power in Kiev with promises to destroy everything Russian in Ukraine and to expel Russians from Crimea.

- In other words, the goal was to resolve the Russian issue, and the alliance supported it, no matter how hard the successors to those who made previous attempts to do this, tried to reject it.

- Until the very last moment, we were doing all we could to reduce tensions and find an equitable and mutually respectful agreement. With this in view, in November 2021, President of Russia Vladimir Putin suggested drafting reciprocal legally binding security guarantees with the West. Washington and the North Atlantic bloc arrogantly rejected this initiative. They did not even feel like discussing our lawful concerns.

- All this left us no other choice. A year ago, on the orders of Vladimir Zelensky's regime, the armed forces of Ukraine, led by the nationalist battalions, began the forceful suppression of Donbass, stepping up the bombing of local towns exponentially. In response to an official appeal from the DPR and LPR, we recognised their independence and provided military assistance under Article 51 of the UN Charter, launching the special military operation.

- Today, the United States and its satellites are waging a comprehensive hybrid war against us that they have been preparing for many years, using Ukrainian radical nationalists as a battering ram. They are not hiding their goals – not only to defeat our country on the battlefield and destroy the Russian economy, but also to surround us with a cordon sanitaire, making Russia a kind of a “rogue state.”

- For that, they are using their entire toolkit, from direct military support for the neo-Nazis (US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin directly called for this, citing the need to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with high-precision weapons and to train Ukrainian personnel to ensure the success of the regime's new counteroffensives, which are allegedly being prepared) to unprecedented illegal sanctions and outright lies in an attempt to demonise Russia.

- It came to the point where French Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre accused Russia on February 2 of pursuing a “neo-colonial policy in Africa.” That is, Paris, which, together with other major European powers, has committed numerous bloody crimes in African and continues to openly consider the continent its “backyard,” is making such accusations against Moscow, which has played a decisive role in freeing the African nations from colonial oppression, in promoting the formation of their statehood, and laying the foundation for their economies and defence capabilities. That’s a mental case, the pot calling the kettle black. No comment.

- Their attempts to isolate Russia have failed. Our enemies had to admit this.

- The foreign policy adopted by President Vladimir Putin to firmly defend Russia’s national interests while at the same time being open to broad and equal international cooperation has proved effective.

- Our long-term planning consistently relies on the modern world being multipolar, where the countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, which constitute the world majority, do not want to live by a Western-centric “rules-based order” invented by the West. Washington, Brussels and London have written those “rules” to suit themselves, and they continue to re-write them as they please.

- As was predictable in this context, three-quarters of the world's states have not joined the anti-Russia sanctions. All of them have taken a balanced stance on the situation in Ukraine, rightly considering it in the context of the European security crisis that has long been brewing due to NATO's aggressive policy, rather than as an isolated conflict. As President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping said, we need to ensure indivisible security on a global scale.

- Amid this situation, Russian diplomacy has intensified its work in those areas where multipolarity and a fairer world order are gaining status, and where our partners are ready for honest and mutually beneficial cooperation.

- We continue to be active on multilateral platforms, primarily the United Nations, where Russia and a number of like-minded nations (more than 20) have set up the Group of Friends in Defence of the UN Charter; we defend the basic norms of international law and the inclusion of the aforementioned principle of respect for the sovereign equality of all countries without exception and non-interference in their internal affairs. These principles are directly enshrined in the UN Charter.

- The SCO and BRICS have a special place in our foreign policy priorities. We consider these associations as the consummate example of multipolar diplomacy in the 21st century, aimed at promoting jointly developed collective approaches to global affairs.

- We focus in particular on strengthening the position of the Russian language and Russian culture. The Ministry’s freshly created Department for Multilateral Humanitarian Cooperation and Cultural Relations will work to address these issues and to promote an objective and unbiased image of our country.

- The foreign policy approved by President of Russia Vladimir Putin is a long-term strategic course. Unlike in Western “democracies,” it is not tethered to electoral cycles and even less so to anyone’s whims. Importantly, it enjoys nationwide support which imparts strength, predictability and stability to our steps in the international arena.

- All assignments issued by the head of state to the Foreign Ministry will be fulfilled.


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