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Business News/ Politics / News/  Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov strikes defiant note on Ukraine at Raisina Dialogue
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Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov strikes defiant note on Ukraine at Raisina Dialogue

Lavrov questioned America’s record of foreign intervention in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq and accused it of double standards for questioning Russia’s right to define threats to its own security.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during the Raisina Dialogue 2023, in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)Premium
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during the Raisina Dialogue 2023, in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: Russia’s longtime foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, facing questions on Moscow’s motivations for invading Ukraine, accused the West of perfidy in its dealings with Moscow. Lavrov was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue here in the national capital

Among a long list of complaints, the veteran diplomat accused the West of threatening Russia’s security through its expansion of NATO after the Cold War despite assurances to the contrary made by western leaders to Moscow. Lavrov cited a host of agreements, including one made in Istanbul in 1999, as evidence that the West had made and broken key commitments to Russia.

“There was no delivery on oral commitments, no delivery on written commitments and no delivery on legally binding commitments, All this was accompanied by NATO instructors beefing up the Ukrainian army and sending weapons to Ukraine," Lavrov argued.

Lavrov also accused President Zelensky’s government of attempting to erase Russian culture in Ukraine against the wishes of a substantial Russian-speaking minority.

“We defended our security, We defended our people who had been denied the right by Zelensky to use the Russian language in culture, in media, in legislation, in everything," Lavrov said.

He argued that the West had made it a mission to inflict “strategic defeat" on Russia. “(Joseph) Biden, (Antony) Blinken, (Jens) Stoltenberg and (Josep) Borrell repeatedly stated that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield. This, they say, is existential for the West in the context of global domination. It’s a very blunt admittance, I must say. If they say it is existential for them, it is existential for us," he said.

Lavrov also questioned America’s record of foreign intervention in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq and accused it of double standards for questioning Russia’s right to define threats to its own security.

“Did the G20 ever, in its declarations, reflect the situation in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan or Yugoslavia? Nobody was giving a damn about anything except finance and macroeconomic policy, which is what G20 was formed for. These days, when Russia has after many years of warnings, started to defend itself, there is nothing but Ukraine that is of interest to the G20. That’s a shame," Lavrov argued.

He went on to accuse the West of following a policy of “blackmail" and “diktat" with developing countries, in order to force them to condemn Russia in international fora. “The developing world was silent (on Ukraine) until the West started blackmailing them, threatening them, sanctioning those who wouldn’t sanction Russia," he railed.

When asked about whether Russia would negotiate to end the war, Lavrov accused Zelensky and the West of refusing to open negotiations until Ukraine had attained victory on the battlefield.

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Published: 03 Mar 2023, 03:35 PM IST
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