PRETORIA, February 7. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has compared Washington’s irritation over the invigorated relations between Russia and Latin America to a spoiled brat throwing a tantrum, he told TASS in Cape Town, South Africa where he was on Tuesday. He also expressed confidence in the futility of Washington’s threats to slap sanctions on Venezuela.
According to the senior diplomat, during a lecture at the University of Texas, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted that the country’s leadership was alarmed at the rapprochement between Russia and Latin American countries. Ryabkov pointed out that this had irritated and disgruntled the American authorities who are used to seeing this region as their "backyard." "Nowadays, it is routine for Washington to throw a fit for the slightest reason like a spoiled child. When something is not the way it wants it to be, the image of a spoiled brat who jumps on the floor and starts kicking his feet in a tantrum for any reason at all comes to mind. It is neither serious nor dignified," Ryabkov stressed.
The envoy noted that the policy that Russia is conducting towards Latin American countries is clear, transparent, void of any hidden agenda and not directed against anyone, but is just a result of "a normal mutual desire to be closer to each other in terms of contacts and forms of interaction." He also promised that military-technical cooperation with countries of this region would continue, despite the dissatisfaction of the US administration. "If there is a demand for our products, then it should be met, but so that the regional balances are not disrupted - we are keeping track of it to firmly secure customer reliability," the diplomat assured.
Touching upon the events in Venezuela, Ryabkov noted that all ongoing attempts by the US to crank up pressure on the South American country by threatening to impose an oil embargo are self-defeating, as was the sanctions policy against Cuba. "A deep fundamental shift towards a full focus on sanctions as practically the only foreign policy tool, besides military force, has taken hold in the US," the senior diplomat pointed out. This strategy not just provokes a growing rejection throughout the world, but hampers the search for acceptable forms of solutions to problems, preserving old and played out schemes of unilateral dictates, pressure and blackmailing.
The Russian diplomat also warned that Washington’s efforts to introduce drastic changes to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iran nuclear deal will ultimately lead to its disruption, and, should they back the US position, Washington’s EU allies will have to share responsibility with it for such developments. "This will become a very severe blow to the system of international guaranteed non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, as it will reverberate as an undesirable and rather stark signal to other countries. So, North Korea will see the US’ complete inability to negotiate through this example, after which chances to achieve some form of mutual understanding between Pyongyang and Washington will sharply deteriorate, according to my assessment," Ryabkov emphasized.
"We are not at all inclined to share responsibility with other states for this destructive course. How the Europeans choose to behave is up to them, it’s their own choice," he concluded.