Lavrov: US and EU policies largely provoked Ukrainian crisis
In the early 1990s, “the US and its allies decided to pronounce themselves winners [in the Cold War] and refused to cooperate on creating equal and undivided security, having instead chosen to move dividing lines closer to Russia's borders,” Lavrov said Thursday, speaking at the ‘Russia & the EU in a changing world’ conference in Berlin.
This policy was realized both through expansion of NATO and through an EU program called ‘The Eastern Partnership’ (EaP), the minister explained, saying that countries in the Eastern Europe were forced to make a choice either to support Russia or the West.
“The largely-provoked-from-the-outside Ukrainian crisis has become the direct consequence of such shortsighted policy of Washington and Brussels,” Lavrov said.Having discarded the idea of a multipolar world and chosen to act in its own interests, “the elite of the Western world have been pursuing the policy to politically and economically contain Russia.” At the same time, old security threats have not disappeared, but new ones emerged, Lavrov said, adding that the world is still dealing with these threats.
“Numbers of dissatisfied and deprived have grown both in national and global scales, which – against the backdrop of many unresolved issues – fuels extremist moods.”An “unprecedented growth of the terrorist threat” has been provoked by Western policies not only on the European continent, but also in the Middle East and North Africa, Lavrov said. He added that a number of countries in that region, including Iraq, Libya and Syria “were plunged into a deep crisis.”
The minister also criticized Western sanctions against Russia, saying he has to “remind that introducing sanctions is the prerogative right of UN Security Council, used purely in the interests of maintaining international peace and security.”
However, the West had decided to force restrictions against Moscow, making many people in Europe “victims of geopolitical games.”
“We will not engage in talks on some conditions of lifting of sanctions,” Lavrov said. He added that “it's not in Russians’ character to hold grudges against anyone, so if and when the EU recognizes the importance of getting back to normal relations with Russia,” Moscow will not refuse to cooperate.
DONi News Agency