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Russia's Top Diplomat Slams West for Relentless Efforts to Dictate to Other Countries

© Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives for a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in Minsk, Belarus.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives for a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in Minsk, Belarus.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.06.2022
MINSK (Sputnik) - The West has taken a selfish position, while trying to impose its dictatorship on everyone and making ultimatums, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday at a meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in Minsk.
Lavrov expressed gratitude to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for the invitation, which confirms the "special nature of our [Russia-Belarus] relations, our alliance and strategic partnership."
"During a lengthy conversation today, we discussed in detail the global situation. The problems that international relations and efforts to preserve international law face due to the selfish position and policy of the West, which is trying to impose its dictatorship on everyone, issuing ultimatums and not shunning any methods of subjugation," Lavrov said.
The diplomat noted that it is important now to uphold principles of the United Nations Charter.
"The future of the world order is really at stake, and we will return to the roots and in practice we will uphold the principles of the UN Charter, first and foremost principle of the sovereign equality of States. Otherwise, the world will be plunged into long-term chaos. Our choice is clear. We stand for unconditional respect of international law and we will defend this position together with our Belarusian and other allies," Lavrov added.
China's President Xi Jinping, left, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, second from left, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, center, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, second from right, and South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa leave after a meeting with members of the Business Council and management of the New Development Bank during the BRICS emerging economies at the Itamaraty palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.06.2022
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The Russia's top diplomat also said that the European Union is suffering from sanctions imposed by the United States against Russia much more than Washington itself, which means that the US probably wants to weaken the bloc as its competitor as well.

"If you compare the sanctions imposed by EU countries against Russia and Belarus, and, on the other hand, [the sanctions] imposed by the United States, then [you'll see that] the US, in general, are sparing themselves and trying not to be very active in these areas that can harm their economy," Lavrov emphasized.

The Russian foreign minister added that the US was being negatively affected by its own sanctions, but the EU was suffering from them much more. Therefore, the sanctions promoted by Washington might seek to weaken not only Russia and Belarus, but the EU as a competitor as well, Lavrov said.
Gas station sign in Minnesota expressing sympathy for its customers as US national average gas prices top $5 bucks a gallon. Screengrab of WCCO - CBS Minnesota report. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.06.2022
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Moscow, Minsk Continue to Insist on Having Their Interests Respected Amid NATO Expansion

Russia and Belarus will keep insisting on having their security interests respected as NATO continues its expansion eastwards, Lavrov noted.
"Foreign policy and security issues were discussed at length during the presidents' meeting in St. Petersburg. It was underscored that Russia and Belarus will insist that their legitimate interests in the sphere of security during the age when NATO continues to act aggressively, that our legitimate interests be respected. We are always in favor of dialogue, we are always in favor of solutions that ensure equality, that ensure a balance of interests," Lavrov told journalists after a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
The minister recalled several decisions made in the 1990s and 2010 on non-strengthening of countries' security at the expense of the security of others, and Moscow has since been insisting that these commitments be implemented. However, Lavrov noted, NATO has expanded five times while saying "the alliance is defensive, do not be afraid."
The Warsaw Pact — a collective defense treaty, signed between the Soviet Union and some countries of eastern Europe to counterweight NATO — no longer exists, the minister said, adding that further NATO enlargement eastward to establish a new line of defenses was "completely absurd."
"For all these years, Russia has been trying to persuade the alliance to honor its commitments, not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others, not to expand eastward. But they have been pumping weapons into Ukraine and indulging neo-Nazi manifestations in every way, the theory and practice of neo-Nazism that has been taking root in Ukraine, had supported the coup d'état [in Ukraine] and the undermining of the Minsk agreements," Lavrov said.
On Tuesday, Turkey, Sweden, and Finland signed a security memorandum, after Ankara withdrew its objections to the two nations' entry into the alliance. On Wednesday, the two countries were officially invited to join NATO on the sidelines of the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier on Thursday that the protocol on Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO will be signed on July 5.
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Russia will analyze decisions made at the NATO summit in Madrid and will act accordingly, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov highlighted.
"We will analyze the situation and make a decision depending on how exactly, what the adopted and announced decisions of the North Atlantic Alliance will be embodied in," Lavrov said.

US Activity Regarding Biolabs in Europe Dangerous

Lavrov also noted that Moscow and Minsk consider US actions regarding biological laboratories in Europe as a threat.
"The actions of the United States in the field of bio laboratories in Europe are a danger to the whole world," Lavrov said at a press conference in Belarus.
Russia and Belarus see that the US does not want to ensure transparency of its biological activity, Lavrov added.
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The Russian foreign minister is on a working visit to Minsk that coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Belarus. Earlier in the day, Lavrov had a meeting with Lukashenko.
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