Sergei Lavrov: Russia open for dialogue with West
Russia is always open to dialogue, even on the most controversial subjects, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, speaking in the Körber Foundation in Berlin, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reported.
"In the situation that has arisen today on the global arena and in European affairs, the dialogue, of course, needs to be intensified. We are always open for discussion, including on the most acute and controversial subjects," the Russian minister stressed in the first place.
"Unfortunately, we still hear to hear allegations both at the political and expert level that Moscow is to blame for the current tension in Europe and the whole world. I would like to recall that all the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall we have acted with open cards, we have tried to make the maximum possible to establish an equal partnership, outlining its foreign policy priorities based on the actual balance of its member states’ interests," Sergei Lavov noted.
He stressed that since the end of the Cold War, Russia hoped for international peace and cooperation, but certain decisions and actions of its Western partners have led to further "dividing lines" in Europe, and "have largely provoked" the Ukrainian crisis.
"The US and its allies decided to pronounce themselves winners and refused to cooperate on creating equal and undivided security, having instead chosen to move dividing lines closer to Russia's borders and through an EU program called ‘The Eastern Partnership’. 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," the minister.
The short-sighted and aggressive policy of the West in the face of the unresolved problems of world security only spurred extremist sentiments and devalued human life. "Rough interference in the affairs of the regions - the Middle East and North Africa - has plunged Iraq, Libya, Syria and many other countries into a deep crisis, provoked an unprecedented growth of a terrorist threat, illegal flows of militants and weapons, a deep migration crisis. The extremely destructive role has been played by a sharp increase in unscrupulous competition of world politics and economics. The use of such an open form of protectionism as unilateral restriction is not just illegal and contradicts the norms of international law and WTO principles, but also undermines confidence in international affairs, impedes the establishment of collective work to overcome common pressing problems, and often attacks the initiators of these unilateral sanctions themselves. I would like to reiterate, though it is obvious, that the issue of introducing sanctions is the right of the UN Security Council, exercised only for peace and security reasons," the Russian Foreign Minister stressed.
The minister once again confirmed that Russia intends to promote cooperation at the comfortable for the partners level, adding that a "safety net" is needed against possible relapses of confrontation. "Today it is important to clearly present the key trends of global development. Recent events are clear evidence that persistent attempts to form a unipolar world have failed. The new centers of economic growth are now taking responsibility for the situation in their region," he said.
"The establishment of polycentricity is a fact, a reality. A desire to slow down this process, to retain unjustly privileged positions won't do any good. There are a growing number of examples of different peoples increasingly talking about a right to take control of their own destinies. In order to ensure genuine polyphony in international affairs under these conditions, we consider it necessary to follow common rules, and strengthen the authority of the United Nations. It is necessary to return to the principles of interstate communication formulated in the Charter of the world organization, including the sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal affairs, as well as peaceful settlement of conflicts," the Russian minister noted.
Lavrov noted with regret that they have to hear absurd allegations that Russia wants to weaken the European Union, even create a rift in it. "We want the European Union to be a unified and strong player, capable of making independent decisions and outlining its foreign policy priorities based on the actual balance of its member states’ interests," Lavrov added.
The Russian minister arrived in Germany on a working visit to take part in the closing ceremony of the cross-year of youth exchanges and to speak in the Körber Foundation. It was expected that he would also hold talks with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, but for health reasons he was not forced to skip the current Russian-German events today.