West Has Declared a Hybrid 'Total War' on Russia, Lavrov Says
09:18 GMT 25.03.2022 (Updated: 10:36 GMT 25.03.2022)
According to the foreign minister, the desire by the US and its Western allies to maintain their dominance in international affairs and return to a unipolar world order are now "illusions".
The West has declared a hybrid 'total war' against Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
"Today a real hybrid war, a 'total war' has been declared against us. This term, which was used by Nazi Germany, is now used by many European politicians when they explain what they want to do to the Russian Federation. And their goals are not hidden: to destroy, to break, to strangle the Russian economy, and Russia as a whole," Lavrov said, speaking at a diplomatic forum on Friday.
"Here, when we see this sanctions free-for-all, it is of course clear that all of these values that our Western colleagues had constantly preached to us about the freedom of expression, a market economy, the inviolability of private property and the presumption of innocence, all of these values are worthless," Lavrov said in a separate engagement with reporters Friday after meeting with Abkhazian President Aslan Bzhania.
The diplomat said most countries outside the collective West don't want to "engage in a one-sided game" amid the current crisis, notwithstanding "enormous pressure" and "propaganda juggling the numbers of votes cast for provocative UN resolutions".
Lavrov expressed confidence that most countries in the world will not join the West's sanctions games. "The vast majority of countries in the world are interested in developing equitable cooperation based on the key principles laid down in the UN Charter, first and foremost - the principle of the sovereign equality of states," he said.
The Russian diplomat also suggested that efforts by the West to "rudely trample" over these principles to try to "impose its superiority" are "doomed to failure", as even the history of Europe has shown.
Commenting on the crisis in Ukraine and Western powers' reaction to the situation, Lavrov recalled US and European media's "hushing" up of the killings of civilians and the economic blockade of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics by Ukrainian forces for nearly eight years. He also pointed to US and European work to pump Ukraine up with weaponry, and efforts to encourage Kiev to "resolve" the Donbass crisis by force.
Lavrov also promised to make the recent string of revelations about US-funded biolabs in Ukraine by the Russian Ministry of Defence a constant theme at the Security Council, "because it is directly related to risks and threats to international peace and security." Moscow, he said, would continue to bring up this theme again and again not just as it relates to Ukraine, but to the US murky biolab activity across the entire globe, particularly across the former USSR, where Washington has set up or financed dozens of such facilities after the end of the Cold War.
The current situation in the world has been "heated up to the limit," according to Lavrov. "In fact, we are witnessing the culmination of the policy of containment of Russia, which the West has pursued for a long time." The "apogee of this Russophobic line was Washington and Brussels' support for the regime in Kiev," he said.
"It's worth remembering the laws that have been consistently adopted in Ukraine [after the 2014 Maidan coup] regarding the Russian language, or rather, regarding the ban on the use of the Russian language in education, in the media, and in everyday life, and thereby, in effect, uprooting from Ukraine all of its Russian roots and crossing out the common history of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples," Lavrov said.
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"The desire by the West to maintain its dominance in international affairs, to subjugate everything and everyone and return to a unipolar world - these are, of course, illusions," Lavrov said.
Efforts by the West to maintain its hegemony "by hook or by crook, but rather by crook," are the cause of "serious tension in international relations," according to Lavrov, and can only be counteracted "together with our partners and allies."
The foreign minister stressed that despite the best efforts of Western powers, there can be no talk of Russia's isolation on the world stage. "We are not going to isolate ourselves. We have many friends, allies and partners in the world, a huge number of associations in which Russia works with countries in every continent, and will continue to do so," he said.