Addressing media conference on the performance of Russian diplomacy in 2022, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke, at length, lambasting the United States and its European allies’ coalition, the emerging poly-centric world and on the role of regional organizations as well as the latest developments in the former Soviet region.
In his introductory remarks, Lavrov acknowledged that the previous was indeed difficult due to deep-rooted trends in geopolitics but unique, to some extent, reflecting the processes in the world. What is happening in Ukraine now is the result of preparations by the United States and its satellites for the start of a global hybrid war against the Russian Federation.
The US-led West is not allowing Ukraine to make its own decisions and decides for Ukraine without Kiev’s participation. “We often hear assertions from the West that ‘not a word can be said about Ukraine without Ukraine.’ But, in fact the West is making decisions for Ukraine,” Lavrov said, speaking at his annual press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2022.
“They have already prohibited [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky from coming to an agreement with Russia in late March. The West decided for Ukraine and made it on behalf of Ukraine without Ukraine,” the top Russian diplomat noted.
“Since then, many Western representatives resorted to various tones on numerous occasions saying that it was still too early to get back to negotiations since it [Ukraine] needs to be supplied with more weapons so that it could resume talks from much stronger positions,” said Lavrov, adding that Moscow would respond seriously to any noteworthy proposal put forward by the United States.
According to his explanation, Western partners are cunning while vehemently trying to prove that they are not fighting Russia but are only helping Ukraine respond to an “aggression” and restore its territorial integrity. The scale of their support makes it clear that the West has staked a great deal on its war against Russia; this is obvious.
Among such Western lies, Lavrov mentioned the signing of the Russia-NATO declaration, the OSCE’s Istanbul and Astana declarations and the February 2014 agreement on Ukrainian settlement with German, French and Polish guarantees. He also pointed to the Minsk accords which were approved by the United Nations Security Council. “The West never planned to implement any of those agreements, they just lied to us as their presidents and prime ministers solemnly signed off on these commitments. Therefore, we have not believed a word lately,” Russia’s top diplomat said.
Lavrov also explained why Russia believed Western officials previously. “There is a rule in Russia, dating back to the old days when merchants struck deals without signing any papers. If you failed to keep your word, nobody would respect you. Well, we dropped this practice when NATO promised never to expand. Ever since, we have signed politically and even legally binding documents,” he added.
Lavrov asserted that the UN Security Council resolution on the Minsk Agreements was a legally binding document. “They have been demanding that Russia pull out of Ukraine and implement the UN Charter in full. Meanwhile, the UN Charter, among other things, says that all UN member countries must abide by UN Security Council resolutions. And the UN Security Council resolution on Ukraine was sabotaged to block any conflict settlement so that further suffering in the current circumstances be prevented,” Lavrov emphasized.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 last year. Moscow has recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, (the DPR and LPR respectively). It signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014.
According several Russian reports, from September 23 to September 27, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic as well as the Kherson Region and the Zaporozhye Region held a referendum where the majority of voters opted to join Russia.
On September 30, Russian President Putin and the heads of the DPR, the LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions signed treaties on their entry to Russia. Later, the State Duma and the Federation Council (the lower and upper houses of Russia’s parliament) approved legislation on ratifying these treaties, as well as federal constitutional laws on the accession of the four regions to Russia.
Lavrov spoke on sanctions and other adverse steps taken towards his country. “Free market, fair competition, free enterprise, the inviolability of property, and the presumption of innocence, in a word, everything the Western globalization model relied on collapsed overnight. Sanctions have been imposed on Russia and other objectionable countries that do not comply with these tenets and mechanisms. Clearly, sanctions can be imposed any time on any country, which, in one way or another, refuses to mindlessly follow American orders,” he told the media representatives gathered in the auditorium.
The European Union has been completely subsumed by this US dictatorship (there’s no point in discussing this at length). The signing of the Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation on January 10 was the high point of this process, something that has been in the making for several years. It states explicitly that the alliance and the EU’s goal is to use all political, economic and military means in the interests of the golden billion.
Coming back to the NATO-EU Declaration – this is an interesting document. These two organisations are being presented as an alliance of democracies against autocracies amid global rivalry. A patently confrontational agenda has been announced for the world to hear. Europe has waived its independence.
The Joint Declaration directly subordinates Europe to NATO. It includes commitments to serve US interests in matters of geopolitical containment of Russia and China. Their declared goal – well known to everyone before but now laid out in black and white – is to enable the US-led alliance to achieve global preeminence.
Lavrov further added that in the so-called “Indo-Pacific region,” the West is out to create bloc architecture against Russia and China. With this aim in view, they have consistently been destroying (although they prefer to keep quiet about this) the decades-old mechanisms and formats of cooperation created around ASEAN based on equality, consensus, and a balance of interests.
Instead, they are putting together military blocs. A shining case in point is AUKUS, an Anglo-Saxon bloc in Asia, which includes the US, the UK, and Australia). Japan is under pressure to join it as well. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s recent visit to Washington ended up confirming this course. Japan is militarising again. Japan is bracing to alter the articles in its constitution that prevent it from doing this. The process is underway.
Lavrov made some comparisons. Like Napoleon, who mobilized nearly all of Europe against the Russian Empire, and Hitler, who occupied the majority of European countries and hurled them at the Soviet Union, the United States has created a coalition of nearly all European member states of NATO and the EU and is using Ukraine to wage a proxy war against Russia with the old aim of finally solving the “Russian question,” like Hitler, who sought a final solution to the “Jewish question.”
Along the line Lavrov stressed the role of regional organizations. Countries are developing economically. Look at China and India (strategic partners), Türkiye, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt and many African countries. Considering their immense natural resources, their development potential is enormous. New centres of economic growth are emerging.
The West is trying to prevent this, in part, by exploiting the mechanisms created to service its interests within the globalization framework it created. The role of the dollar as a reserve currency is very important in this respect. This is why Russia is intensifying contacts through the SCO, BRICS, the CIS, and the EAEU, and in cooperation with associations of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
It will take a long time to create a multipolar world order. This will take an entire historical era – it is in the midst of this process. It takes time to create a multi-polar world and finalize the relations needed for the triumph of democracy and justice and for the observance of the UN Charter principle of respect for the sovereign equality of all states. In the majority of cases, it crudely violated the UN Charter.
The UN Charter is a good foundation. At the time it was adopted, it was a revolutionary document. Unfortunately, the West distorted all its correct principles. It did not respect the principles of sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes. The United States used its armed forces abroad hundreds of times since the establishment of the United Nations.