Lavrov: US blackmails whole world
The decision by some Western countries to expel Russian diplomats comes as the result of a colossal blackmail campaign and pressure from the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"The conclusion that readily offers itself is that we were quite right when said more than once that truly independent countries in the modern world and in modern Europe are very few. When one or two diplomats are asked to leave this or that country, with apologies being whispered into our ears, we know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and colossal blackmail, which is Washington’s chief instrument in the international scene," Lavrov said.
"This is what we hear in this situation and in relation to the Palestinian problem. ‘We will not be giving any money to the Palestinians until you say you will agree to the idea we have not formulated yet.’ In other words, ‘take it for granted.’ These ‘take-it-for-granted’ statements (charges against Russia in connection with the reported poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia) are an insult to the system of Anglo-Saxon, British justice," TASS cited Lavrov as saying.
He noted that Moscow won’t tolerate Western countries’ crassness and will definitely respond to the expulsion of diplomats. "Rest assured, we will respond. The reason is that no one would like to tolerate such obnoxiousness and we won’t either," Lavrov said.
According to the diplomat, this decision by Western countries "reflects the determination of the ruling elites to ignore the voice of the people."
"I’ve been shown some related publications. Germany’s daily Die Welt has conducted a poll to ask the respondents if more sanctions should be taken against Russia. More than 80% said NO. Such mechanisms of direct democracy should be used more often," the top diplomat stressed.
The President of the Minchenko Consulting Communication Group, Yevgeny Minchenko, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted in the first place that the US would have made this decision without the Skripal case. "The US has taken a course to turn Russia into an outcast country and to exert system pressure on it," the expert said.
At the same time, he stressed that it is now difficult to talk about how far the United States is capable of going to achieve its goals. "Today they have some limitations, and tomorrow others," Yevgeny Minchenko summed up.
The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, in turn, emphasized that the United States simply took advantage of the situation, provoked by the United Kingdom, in order to solve its own problems.
"Thus, they express the notorious Atlantic solidarity and try to hurt the Russian leadership, which, in their view, has been quite successful lately, which irritates the Western community," the expert said.
In addition, he noted that it is difficult to guess how far the US is capable of going in this matter. "The decision is made based on the political situation, and the consequences are not fully calculated," Alexei Mukhin said.
He also expressed the opinion that in this situation Russia should behave carefully. "But the actions that are being taken now will not be symmetrical. We will lose 136 foreign diplomats operating on the territory of the country. What's the harm for Russia?" the director of the Center for Political Information summarized.