Raisina Dialogue: Russian FM Sergei Lavrov slams West on Ukraine

Russian FM accuses West of treachery, threatening developing nations to force them to condemn Russia

| Updated: 03 March, 2023 10:43 pm IST
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Faced with questions on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, March 3, accused the West of broken promises in its dealings with Moscow.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, the Russian FM 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.

“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,” FM Lavrov said.

FM Lavrov also questioned the USA’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 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 the G20 was formed for,” FM Lavrov said.

“After many years of warnings (to Ukraine), Russia started to defend itself. These days they have nothing else but Ukraine,” he added.

FM Lavrov also accused the West of forcing developing countries to condemn Russia in international fora. “The developing world was silent (on Ukraine) until the West started blackmailing them, threatening them, and sanctioning those who wouldn’t sanction Russia,” he said.

FM Lavrov also accused Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and the West of refusing to open negotiations until Ukraine had attained victory on the battlefield.

FM Lavrov also accused the Ukraine government of attempting to erase Russian culture in the country 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,” FM Lavrov argued.

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