Future of the World Order Being Decided Today, Lavrov Says at UNGA
17:42 GMT 24.09.2022 (Updated: 11:44 GMT 09.02.2023)
The foreign minister's speech at the United Nations' annual General Assembly meeting comes in an atmosphere of unprecedented tensions between Russia and the West following the escalation of the security crisis in Ukraine earlier this year.
The future security, economic and political architecture of the planet is being decided on today, and it's up to the people of the world to determine whether it will continue to be an order dominated by the West and the golden billion, or by progressive global forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has indicated.
"We are meeting at a difficult and dramatic moment. Crises are growing, and the situation in the area of international security is deteriorating rapidly. Instead of having an honest dialogue and looking for compromises, what we're dealing with is disinformation, frame-ups and provocations," Lavrov said, addressing the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Accusing Western powers of undermining trust in international law and institutions as guarantees of fairness and the protection of the weak against the strong, the foreign minister suggested these negative trends have been put on open display "in concentrated form" at the UN, eroding the principles upon which the body was founded.
"The future of the world order is being decided today. This is clear to any impartial observer. The question is whether it will be an order where one hegemon forces everyone else to live according to their notorious 'rules' which benefit only itself. Or will it be a democratic, just world - a world without blackmail and intimidation of unwanted peoples, without neo-Nazism and neo-colonialism? Russia has made a firm choice in favor of the latter, and together with our allies, partners and like-minded people are calling for work on its implementation," Lavrov said.
The Russian diplomat stressed that unipolar model of global development, "which served the interests of the so-called 'golden billion'," which amassed its wealth using the resources of Asia, Africa and Latin America, is receding into the past.
"Today, we're witnessing sovereign states ready to defend their national interests, and this is resulting in the creation of an equal, socially-oriented, multipolar architecture," Lavrov said. The West considers these processes a threat, and the United States and its allies "want to stop the march of history," he added.
Lavrov suggested that "at some point, having declared victory in the Cold War, Washington elevated itself almost to the position of the messenger of the Lord God on Earth, who has no obligations, but only the 'sacred' right to act with impunity" anywhere in the world. "Any state can be declared a zone for such actions - especially if it somehow displease the self-proclaimed 'masters of the world'."
The diplomat recalled the US wars of aggression conducted by the US far from its home shores in recent decades, from Yugoslavia to Iraq and Libya, which claimed hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
"Were the truly legitimate interests of the United States impacted in any one of those countries? Was English banned or any other language of NATO countries banned there? Were mass media, culture [threatened]? Were the Anglo-Saxons declared to be subhumans, were heavy weapons used against them?" Lavrov asked, in a veiled reference to some of Moscow's justifications for launching its military operation in Ukraine.
11 August 2022, 11:47 GMT
Western powers' attempt to preserve their 'rules-based order' has led to the drawing of dividing lines of bloc confrontation across the globe, with their motto being "you're either with us or against us," Lavrov said.
Having worked to push the NATO bloc east and bring its military infrastructure all the way up to the Russian border, the United States now has the goal of subjugating Asia, according to the foreign minister.
"At NATO's June summit in Madrid, the so-called defensive alliance declared the indivisible security of the Euro-Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific. And under the slogan of Indo-Pacific strategies, closed formats are being created which undermine what has been built by the ASEAN [group of nations] for decades - namely an open and inclusive regional architecture. On top of that, they're playing with fire around Taiwan, and promising military support to Taipei," Lavrov said.
"Clearly, the notorious Monroe Doctrine is becoming global in scope. Washington is trying to turn the entire world into its own backyard, using the means of unlawful unilateral sanctions which have been used for many years in violation of the UN Charter and as a tool of political blackmail to do so," Lavrov said.
Lavrov slammed the US approach to sanctions for what he characterized as its appalling "cynicism," emphasizing that only civilians suffer from such restrictions, losing access to foodstuffs, medicines or vaccines. "The American blockade of Cuba is an egregious example of this policy. It's more than 60 years old. The General Assembly has long and persistently demanded its immediate lifting by an overwhelming majority of votes," he recalled.
West Lit Match of Global Economic Crisis, Lavrov Says
The Russian diplomat urged UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make good on his special responsibility in mobilizing efforts to overcome the planetary food and energy crises resulting from Washington and Brussels' "out of control" money emission during the Covid pandemic, and the EU's recent "irresponsible, unprofessional acts...in the hydrocarbon markets."
"Doing away with common sense, Washington and Brussels compounded the situation when they announced their economic war against Russia. As a result, prices for foodstuffs, fertilizers, oil and gas are rising. We welcome the efforts made by the secretary general in helping to arrive at the Istanbul [grain] agreements on the 24th of June. But they need to be implemented," Lavrov said. The foreign minister pointed out that so far, the majority of Ukrainian grain has not found its way to the poor countries that need it, and that the US and the EU have not lifted their restrictions on Russian food and fertilizer exports.
9 September 2022, 13:08 GMT
US, Allies Seeking to Wipe Russia Off the Map
Pointing to what he described as the "grotesque" scope of Russophobia in the West today, Lavrov accused Washington and its allies of seeking to liquidate Russia as a state.
"They no longer shy away from openly declaring their intent to inflict a military defeat on our country, but also to destroy and fracture Russia. In other words, what they want to do is to remove a geopolitical entity which has become too independent from the global map," Lavrov said.
16 September 2022, 15:36 GMT
The foreign minister asked what actions taken by Moscow over the past three-and-a-half decades justified the West's aggressive position.
"How has Russia been infringing on the interests of our opponents in recent decades? Is it that we cannot be forgiven for making the military and strategic detente of the 1980s and 1990s possible? Or is it that we voluntarily dissolved the Warsaw Treaty Organization and thus removed the reason for NATO's existence? Is it that we supported the reunification of Germany without any preconditions and against the position of London and Paris? That we withdrew our military from Europe, Asia, Latin America? That we recognized the independence of former Soviet republics? That we believed the promises of Western leaders not to expand 'one inch east', and when it began, agreed to basically legitimize it by signing the Russia-NATO Founding Act? Did we infringe on the interests of the West when we warned them that it was unacceptable to bring a threatening military infrastructure closer to our borders?" Lavrov asked.
31 January 2020, 16:43 GMT
Lavrov quoted at length Pentagon deputy chief and future Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz's 1991 conversation
with NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Wesley Clark, in which Wolfowitz outlined US plans for the coming decades:
"But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region - in the Middle East - and the Soviets won't stop us. And we've got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes - Syria, Iran [sic], Iraq - before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."
Roots and Consequences of Ukrainian Crisis
Lavrov expressed confidence that someone's memoirs would one day reveal how the US strategy of fomenting the Ukrainian security crisis was hatched, even if "Washington's plans in this regard are obvious." The diplomat recalled that Moscow supported the agreements signed in February 2014 between the Yanukovych government and opposition forces to resolve the Euromaidan crisis, only to see them "trampled underfoot" after the Ukrainian president's ouster the following day.
The diplomat recalled how, several months later in the spring of 2014, "the West simply shrugged and watched in silence how the coup-installed government began the bombing of eastern Ukraine, where people had refused to accept the results of the putsch. They watched [as Kiev authorities] made accomplices of Nazis into national heroes. Were we expected to agree in Kiev's intent to ban the Russian language, education, our mass media? With their insistence on chasing Russians out of Crimea or waging war against the Donbass, whose residents were proclaimed by authorities in Kiev as specimens, rather than human beings?"
The foreign minister stressed that the Security Council supported the implementation of the 2015 Minsk Peace Agreements
- which promised the Donbass autonomy in exchange for the region's return to Ukrainian control, but which Kiev's wound up failing to implement over the next seven years.
Finally, Lavrov recalled the broad security proposals
tabled by Russia in December 2021, based on the principle that no nation or bloc is allowed to strengthen its security at the expense of others.
"The reaction [from the West] was an arrogant rejection. The incapacity of Western countries to negotiate, and the continued war by the Kiev regime against their own people left us with no choice but to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and start a special military operation to protect the Russian and other people in the Donbass and to remove the threats against our security, which NATO had been consistently creating in Ukraine at our borders," he said. "I am convinced that any sovereign, self-respecting state would do the same in our stead," Lavrov said.
Commenting on Western hysteria over the ongoing status referendums currently being held in the Donbass, and the areas of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions where pro-Russian administrations have been established, Lavrov suggested that the residents of these regions are "only reacting" Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's 2021 comments
asking residents of the Donbass to decide whether they were Russians or Ukrainians, and if they're Russians, to get out and go to Russia "for the future of [their] children and grandchildren."
"And that's what the inhabitants of those regions are doing, taking their land with them, where their ancestors have been living for hundreds of years," the foreign minister suggested.
Decline of Multilateral Institutions
Lavrov lamented the West's efforts to turn international institutions "into tools implementing their own selfish interests," whether it be at the UN, or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, where in his words, "fierce attempts are being made to prevent creating a mechanism which would ensure transparency on the hundreds of military biological programs that the Pentagon has around the world, including along the perimeter of our country and throughout Eurasia."
Lavrov expressed Russia's support for making the UN Security Council more democratic, "excusively through broadening the representation of countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. We note India and Brazil in particular as key international actors and worthy candidates within the Council...It is very important today to make sure that all member states unequivocally and without reservation reaffirm their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter as a first and necessary step to restoring collective responsibility for the fate of humanity," he said.
Focusing on regional conflicts, the Russian foreign minister reiterated the need to prioritize "overcoming the impasse in creating an independent Palestinian state...restoring the nations of Iraq and Libya destroyed by NATO aggression," "neutralizing threats to Syria," building "a sustainable process of national conciliation in Yemen, overcoming the heavy burden of the NATO presence in Afghanistan," as well as restoring the Iran nuclear deal, and assuring a comprehensive settlement on the Korean Peninsula. "We are concerned by the situation in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the United States and the EU are stubbornly leading to the destruction of the international legal basis," Lavrov said.
"At times like these, it's natural to seek wisdom from our predecessors. So to quote the pithy expression of former Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold, who remembered the horrors of world war, he said, and I quote: 'The United Nations was not created in order to bring us to heaven, but in order to save humanity from hell.' These are very topical words, and call on us to understand our individual and collective responsibility for creating the conditions for the peaceful and harmonious development for future generations. And everyone needs to show political will for that," Lavrov concluded.