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US restricts Russia’s abilities for fear of losing global leadership - FM Lavrov

June 05, 2014, 7:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Washington does not want Moscow to unite its potential with the European Union," Russian foreign minister said
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MOSCOW, June 05  /ITAR-TASS/. The United States maintains the course of limiting Russia’s abilities as Washington does not want Moscow to unite its potential with the European Union and therefore see America losing the role of the global leader, the Russian foreign minister said.

“It seems that our country was subjected to pressure being the most active exponent of its own point of view in the modern world and believing that independent politics is the country’s natural right,” Sergei Lavrov said. “Such [Russia’s] behavior certainly does not correspond with claims of some other states to their own global exclusiveness.”

The top Russian diplomat said the Western countries had been recently taking the accusing stance in regard to Russia with quite some ease.

“Whenever we are defending basic principles of the international law, deny illegal interference into domestic affairs of sovereign states, we are criticized for the excessive conservatism, for being stuck with the status quo and not seeing global changes,” Lavrov said.

“But when we support the free expression of will of people in Crimea in full compliance with their right for self-determination, we are being called the ‘revisionist power,’ which attempts to bring back global relations to geopolitical rivalry,” the Russian minister said.

Lavrov said that the geopolitical rivalry never ceased to exist and there was simply an attempt “to pretend that it was a prerogative for only a selected group of states, which were capable to revamp the situation around the world in accordance with their standards.”

“The paradox is that it all takes place contradictory to obvious and objective benefit, which both parts of the European continent could have yielded by uniting technologies, resources and human capital,” Lavrov said. “To a certain extent, such contradiction can be explained by the fact that the course aimed to restrict Russia’s abilities is led not by the European countries, but the United States in the first place.”

The high-ranking Russian diplomat added that many political analysts from Russia, the European Union and the United States as well believe that Washington stands against the consolidation of both Russian and EU potentials, guided first of all by the task of preserving its own global leadership.

The European Union jointly with the United States declared sets of sanctions against Russia earlier in the year, particularly after the republic of Crimea seceded from Ukraine and later merged with Russia.

Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities. Crimeans overwhelmingly voted in a referendum on March 16 to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The reunification deal with Moscow was signed on March 18.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.

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