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US fears honest competition in energy, arms industry and sports, Lavrov warns

January 15, 11:50 UTC+3

The US measures to restrict competition are also seen in the sphere of the media, Russia’s top diplomat pointed out

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© AP Photo/J. David Ake

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The US administration’s actions demonstrate its fear of honest competition in a whole number of sectors, including energy and sports, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference on Monday.

"I would say that the [US] administration’s actions indicate the fear of honest competition in a whole number of spheres," the foreign minister said at the news conference on the results of the Russian diplomacy’s activity in 2017.

Russia’s top diplomat mentioned the energy sector, the military-industrial complex, the situation with the media and the pressure on Russian athletes among these spheres.

Speaking about the energy sphere, Lavrov drew attention to gas deliveries to Europe, on which "liquefied natural gas from the United States is being imposed instead of Russian natural gas, although this LNG is several times more expensive," and also to Washington’s efforts to counter Russia’s Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project.

"They are openly telling Europeans to give up the Nord Stream-2 project, although gas supplies to Germany are 2,000 km shorter than via Ukraine and are 1.5-2 times cheaper," Lavrov pointed out.

"Now about the military-industrial complex: there are no doubts for me that the sanctions, which embrace the Russian defense exports and the enterprises manufacturing the corresponding products, pursue the goal of preventing the strengthening of our positions to the detriment of the US position," Russia’s foreign minister said.

"The desire is understandable but it is necessary to compete honestly," Lavrov stressed.

The US measures to restrict competition are also seen in the sphere of the media, Russia’s top diplomat pointed out.

"This can be seen in the attitude to RT and Sputnik in the United States and France or in the expulsion of our journalists and the closure of our TV channels in Moldova, Ukraine, Latvia and in some other countries, or in the recent initiative by the French president to introduce some rules to fight fake news where only one side will determine whether or not this is fake news," Lavrov said.

"And, finally, let us take the sphere of sports in connection with the upcoming Olympic Games and the decisions made against our athletes… Yes, there are the facts of violations made by our athletes but no collective punishment has ever been imposed on anyone in such cases. Here I also see the fear of honest competition," Lavrov said.

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