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Lavrov: West's Obsession with Inflicting Strategic Defeat on Russia Reveals Agony & Hysteria

© Sputnik / Alexey Filippov / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.04.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The West's statements about the impending loss of its influence and the restructuring of the world by Russia and its partners reflect an understanding of the ongoing formation of a new and just world order, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"The escalation of this theme of Russia's [strategic] defeat, the emphasis on the existential significance of this defeat for the future of the West reflects not so much a bellicose mood as agony and hysteria," Lavrov said in an interview with Russian radio stations Sputnik, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Govorit Moskva.
A general view shows the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Archangel's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.12.2023
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In addition to fearing the loss of hegemony, the West is asserting the dominance of the United States, which means that everyone must obey its orders, he added.
"In addition to this fear of losing hegemony, they are still very open, perhaps without even realizing that they are being so open, they make it clear that the United States is in charge, and they all fell under the [influence of] the United States," Lavrov told Sputnik.
Russia is not frightened by talk of inflicting strategic defeat on it, which is heard in the West; such rhetoric, Lavrov noted.
"If they put us in a situation where they simply need to strategically defeat us, essentially destroy us as a global player, they cannot understand that we will not be intimidated," Lavrov highlighted.
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that, unlike Russia, the countries making threats against Russia would themselves be afraid if similar threats were made against them "with the same fervor and vehemence".
"And this has strengthened us; let them draw conclusions from this historical lesson," the minister added.

On Possibility of Peace Talks With Ukraine

Speaking about the possibility of peace talks with Ukraine the Russian Foreign Minister said that Russia always prefers negotiations to quarrels.
"As [Russian] President [Vladimir Putin] constantly reminds us, we always prefer negotiations to fights and wars," Lavrov said.
The minister noted that the so-called 'Zelensky Formula' cannot serve as a foundation for resolving the Ukrainian conflict because it does not take into account Russia's demands. Larove noted that Russia respects the position of China, whose representatives have expressed support for convening a conference acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine.
"This means that we should not start with the 'Zelensky Formula' at all, it should be completely put aside... If they want, as the president said, let's discuss the principles on which we are ready to negotiate," Lavrov stressed.
At the same time, he added, Switzerland, which has changed from a neutral country to an "openly hostile" one, is not suitable for negotiations on the Ukrainian conflict.
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Thus, if negotiations with Kiev begin, Russia has no intention of ceasing hostilities in Ukraine.

"We are ready [for negotiations]. But unlike the Istanbul story, we will not have a pause in hostilities during the negotiations. The process must continue. Secondly, of course, the realities on the ground have become different, significantly different," Lavrov said.

Russia was ready to give serious security guarantees to Ukraine at the talks in Istanbul, but realities have changed and this "must be taken into account," the minister added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized Russia's strong belief in the necessity to persist with the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
"We are absolutely convinced that we need to continue the special military operation," Lavrov said, adding that Russia is dealing with Ukraine precisely because of the threat it faces and has no confidence in the Ukrainian leadership.
The US has failed to achieve its military goals everywhere, the minister said.

On Western Sanctions Against Russia

The West is mindlessly escalating sanctions against Russia without considering the results of such measures, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"They are escalating these sanctions without any consideration of the consequences. And the consequences were obvious from the very beginning, even before the special military operation, when the 'Crimea' sanctions and others were in force... We have decided not to depend on them in all areas where they can restrict our development, and preferably not in any other areas," the Russian top diplomat said.
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On Speculation of Russia's 'Plans' to Attack Europe

Moscow has no reason to attack European nations; their fears of alleged threats from Russia are unfounded, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"[European countries] only frighten and intimidate... It makes no sense for us to attack them. If they themselves wanted to bring NATO's borders closer to our borders, we will not allow this to happen in Ukraine," Lavrov said.

On Iran-Israel Tensions

Russia has told Israel through diplomatic channels that Iran does not want an escalation, and Russia hopes that Israel shares this view, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"There have been telephone contacts between the leadership of Russia and Iran, our representatives, and the Israelis. We have very clearly established in these conversations and conveyed to the Israelis that Iran does not want an escalation. It cannot refrain from responding to the most flagrant violation of international law and the status of diplomatic representation, but it does not seek escalation," Lavrov said.

Lavrov noted that all experts interpreted Iran's response to Israel's strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus in early April in the same way.
"I hope I am not mistaken that the recent strike by Israel on targets in Isfahan was another response to the response," the minister added.
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According to American media reports, Israel carried out a "limited" retaliatory strike on targets in Iran overnight on Friday. Explosions were reported in the area near the city of Isfahan. The Iranian state agency IRIB reported that air defense systems were activated in several provinces of the country against approaching drones. The Tasnim agency said nuclear facilities in Isfahan province were fully secured. Three Iranian officials confirmed to The New York Times that the strikes targeted an air base near Isfahan.

The strike came nearly a week after Iran's massive missile attack on Israel.
Commenting on talks about Iran changing its nuclear doctrine, Lavrov said they were a "desire" to shift the focus from Israel's operations in Gaza to threats from Tehran.

"They want to attribute to Iran, among other things, an attack using nuclear weapons, which it does not possess - this is confirmed by the IAEA. Iran is the most inspected country among the participants in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. There is even a fatwa in Iran - it is a postulate of the Supreme Leader that nuclear weapons are prohibited in Iran. Iran does not need to engage in this after responding to the unacceptable attack on the Iranian consulate," Lavrov said.

Earlier, as reported by Iranian media, Ahmad Haghtalab, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps units responsible for the security of Iran's nuclear facilities, stated that the Iranian side could reconsider and deviate from its previously declared nuclear policy.
A man walks past a banner depicting missiles launching from a representation of the map of Iran coloured with the Iranian flag in central Tehran on April 15, 2024 - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.04.2024
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On Initiative of Creating Palestinian State

Russia wants the Arab countries to take an initiative to create a Palestinian state, Lavrov said.

"The situation is very bad. We want an end to the violence, a solution to the humanitarian problems, and above all, we want the Arab [states] to take the initiative, with the support of all reasonable forces, to take the issue of the establishment of a Palestinian state into their own hands," he said.

On Importance of Eurasian Security Today

The Minister emphasized that Eurasian security is becoming a key issue in the current situation and the door remains open for anyone to participate in relevant talks on this issue.
"The concept of Euro-Atlantic security in its current form has exhausted itself, it is more promising to talk about Eurasian security, which is much more natural, because it is one continent, and no one from across the ocean is involved in this scheme.... We will keep the door open for the western part of the continent, for everyone," Lavrov added.

On Armenia's Area of Responsibility in CSTO Context

Armenia has not yet completed the demarcation of the country's borders, and in such conditions it is too early to talk about the need to indicate the area of responsibility of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Armenia, Sergey Lavrov noted.

"When they say that the CSTO cannot determine where its zone of responsibility is in Armenia, Armenia itself has not yet determined. They have declared that they are ready to respect, together with Azerbaijan, the 1991 borders ... which means that Karabakh is in Azerbaijan. At the same time, they created a delimitation commission. And at the same time, in parallel, [Armenian Prime Minister Nikol] Pashinyan recently announced four non-enclave villages that he is ready to transfer ... But the 1991 borders, which Pashinyan wanted the CSTO to confirm and protect, are not being taken into account," Lavrov said.

It is necessary to talk about the CSTO's obligation to specify its area of responsibility only after the borders of Armenia are determined and the demarcation is completed, the minister added.
Commenting on Pashinyan's words that relations between Yerevan and Moscow are going through difficult times but their importance cannot be overestimated, the Minister said that these are very important words and Russia and Armenia are still allies.
Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg make a joint statements after their meeting in Yerevan, Armenia, Tuesday, March 19, 2024.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2024
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"To a certain extent, this is a reaction to the arrogant, shameless actions of the West - primarily the United States and the European Union - to separate Armenia from Russia at an accelerated pace," Lavrov said, adding that Moscow hopes for high-level contacts with Armenia for open discussions without the West's involvement.
Additionally, the Minister said that Armenia benefits the most from cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

"Proportionally, Armenia gets the most benefits. It has been calculated. Thirty-five percent of the Armenian economy is realized through participation in the EAEU. If we take last year, Armenia's trade is about twenty billion dollars, 37% of it is the EAEU, 13% is the EU and 3% is the US," he said.

Asked about the 2020 agreements between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, the minister said that the EU and the USA began to interfere in the trilateral peace agreements immediately after their conclusion.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization is a military alliance consisting of six countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. The organization aims to promote regional security and stability, as well as to coordinate joint military efforts. The organization has participated in several peacekeeping missions and joint military exercises.

On Moldova Being Dragged Into NATO

The minister touched upon the fact that the West is working aggressively in Moldova, turning President Maia Sandu into a person who is dragging the country into NATO.
"The West is working aggressively, energetically, without recognizing any decency. They are turning Sandu into a person who will simply drag Moldova into NATO, either directly or through a union with Romania," Lavrov said.
Commenting on the situation with the breakaway region of Transnistria, the minister said that some states want to make Transnistria a hotbed of tension.
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On Germany's Negligence Prior to Nord Stream Attacks

Germany had no problem finding spies, but missed the preparation of the attacks on the Nord Stream, the foreign minister pointed out.
"They caught some two Germans who were spying... For months, the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, on an infrastructure project that is extremely beneficial for Germany, in the preparation of which - the terrorist attack, I mean - the armed forces, naval and air forces of many NATO countries were involved, it is now in the public domain, all these sketches, no one noticed it. But two citizens who were just preparing, as they said, terrorist attacks were found instantly," Lavrov said.

Earlier in the day, German prosecutors said two dual German-Russian citizens, identified as Dieter S. and Alexander J., had been arrested in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth for allegedly spying on US bases and plotting attacks on military transport routes on behalf of Russia.

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On Russia's Invitation to Attend D-Day Anniversary

Russia has not yet received an invitation to participate in the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Normandy landings (also known as D-Day).
"We were not invited. This is their habit. When they want to do something, they cannot stay within the bounds of decency. Because decent people send a letter and then they announce it. And here they say: 'Well, we will invite, yes, but not [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, we will invite someone. But no one has invited anyone," Lavrov said.

On Tuesday, the Mission Liberation public interest group, the organizer of the event, said Russia had been invited to the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

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