Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that Western countries introduced over 15,000 sanctions against Russia.
Speaking in an interview with Russian Knowledge in Saint Petersburg, Lavrov said that restrictive measures are also used against other countries.
“There are statistics according to which every fourth country in the world is under sanctions,” he said.
He criticized Western countries for treating other states as “inferior,” saying “our collective Western partner does not allow any equality.”
According to the top diplomat, the Ukrainian conflict, although “serious and possibly decisive,” is only part of the process of the formation of a multipolar world.
Lavrov slammed the appearance of military blocs in Asia, like AUKUS (the US, UK and Australia), saying through such formats NATO “is stretching out its tentacles” to the region.
“Everyone sees how the organization (NATO) is really being introduced into Asia and creating military bloc structures there, undermining the processes of natural regional development and strengthening the regional architecture created by the countries of Southeast Asia themselves,” he said.
Lavrov said that Russia, along with other countries, which are interested in fair partnership, responds to the pressure with building new transport routes, not controlled by the West, as well as financial and other mechanisms.
“There is no doubt that the already emerging financial chains will reliably ensure independent trade relations, equal economic, investment, and financial ties between countries willing to honestly develop relations with each other,” he said.
Lavrov expects BRICS to be expanded through Islamic countries
Separately, speaking to Russian RT TV channel, Lavrov said he expects Arab and countries of “Islamic civilization” to join BRICS, an acronym for current members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria. All of them are, to a certain extent, leaders of the Arab and Islamic world. This would undoubtedly enrich the BRICS,” he said.
Russia, for its part, would be ready “to make a decision quickly enough,” he said, adding: “There is nothing here to argue about, from the point of view of the weight of each of these states, their right to be represented at the global level provokes no doubt.”
At the same time, the issue is very delicate, as there are applications from other countries, that should be answered.
“If a country applies and does not receive a response, then it will not be perceived very positively. We understand this perfectly well. We are for the BRICS to expand,” he said.
Asked about the possible ways out of the Ukrainian conflict, Lavrov said Russia cannot rely on agreements signed with the West anymore.
“The West sees in us exclusively a territory that has to be used in the colonial sense, we have natural resources,” he said.
The top diplomat also said that the West is using the situation in Ukraine, which he dubbed as “the war against the Russian Federation to take out competitors.”
“They see in us and in China competitors, this is clearly stipulated by doctrines. But the Anglo-Saxons are also removing continental Europe as a competitor. This is obvious to everyone,” he said.
Lavrov pointed out that Germany is experiencing economic problems, as well as many other countries, insisting that “the US is the main beneficiary,” and “Englishmen with them, who help them achieve selfish goals.”
He said Russia has expressed strong protest over plans to give Ukraine F-16 fighter jets that may carry nuclear weapons.
“The Americans tried to deny it and say — what, do you really think that we will give Ukraine planes that will carry nuclear weapons? … Our (Russian air defense) systems do not discern planes with nuclear weapons from planes without it,” he said.
Lavrov said the West exercise pressure on “all countries,” including Russia’s closes allies, pushing them to condemn Moscow and join sanctions, saying this is a manifestation of non-democratic attitude.
He added that the West understands democracy as a necessity “to teach others how to live,” and does not see that pushing other states to act in some way is a manifestation of a non-democratic approach.
Source : AA