Russia’s military action in Ukraine is meant to put an end to the US-dominated world order, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has explained. Washington has been seeking supremacy by imposing ad-hoc rules and violating international law, he claimed, in an interview aired by Russian television on Monday.
He was referring to America’s attempts to impose its own so-called “rules-based international order,” which have met with strong resistance from Moscow and China. Lavrov told Rossiya 24 news channel:
“Our special military operation is meant to put an end to the unabashed expansion [of NATO] and the unabashed drive towards full domination by the US and its Western subjects on the world stage. This domination is built on gross violations of international law and under some rules, which they are now hyping so much and which they make up on a case-by-case basis.”
Russia is among the nations who would not submit to Washington’s will, the Russian diplomat added. It will only be part of an international community of equals and will not allow Western nations to ignore its legitimate security concerns, Lavrov said.
Lavrov blasted EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for appearing to encourage more fighting in Ukraine. The bloc’s top diplomat said the conflict “will be won on the battlefield” as he announced more military aid to Kiev last Saturday. Lavrov called the statement “outrageous.”
“When a diplomatic chief … says a certain conflict can only be resolved through military action… Well, it must be something personal. He either misspoke or spoke without thinking, making a statement that nobody asked him to make. But it’s an outrageous remark.”
The EU’s role has shifted during the Ukraine security crisis, the minister believes. Previously it didn’t act as a military organization “fighting collectively against an invented threat.” Lavrov said the change was the result of pressure put on the bloc’s members by Washington, which has pushed it closer to NATO.
For its part, Russia wants to negotiate peace with Ukraine, Lavrov added.
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.