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MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. What is happening in Ukraine marks the climax of the West’s course at deterring Russia, which it has been steering over many years, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview published by MGIMO Journal on the occasion of the 70th anniversary since the foundation of the diplomatic university, from which Lavrov himself graduated in 1972.
“The Ukrainian crisis shook up the international situation drastically, and its impact will be felt for quite some time,” Lavrov said. “It’s really difficult today to foretell the course that global developments will take but we can be sure the future will have many surprises in store for us.”
He believes the events that swept Ukraine in the past ten or so months did not reveal any new tendencies. They rather helped accomplish a course towards Russia that the Western partners had been pursuing for years upon years.
“The habit of not perceiving the Russians as kinsmen has been found in Western Europe for centuries, even though we’ve been an integral part of European culture and politics for the past three centuries at the very least,” Lavrov said. “European affairs were characterized by stability and calmness precisely in the periods when Russia was most active in pan-European politics.”
“Unfortunately, the (West’s) course at our country’s deterrence continued after the disintegration of the USSR, albeit in a milder form,” he said. "We were considered as contenders rather than partners."
Russia has been ostracized by Western countries as a most active upholder of independent views, Lavrov said. “Over the past quarter of a century, we have been holding discussions with our North-Atlantic partners on how to build a strategic relationship and set up joint agencies tasked with facilitating this relationship,” Lavrov said. “We passed political declarations and called for forming a unified space in the world, for stability and security.”
“Still our Western partners were pressing forward with their own agenda, ignoring Russia’s interests in many ways, expanding NATO, and generally seeking to push the geopolitical territory under their control right up to Russia’s borders,” he said.
One may clearly get an impression that Russia got under a strike as a most active upholder of independent views in the modern world, as a force considering independent politics to be its natural right. “A line of this kind doesn’t match the claims for exceptionality made by whoever, no doubt,” Lavrov said.
Renunciation of joint efforts against global challenges is not a good option for relations between Russia and the West, Lavrov said. “In spite of unfriendly actions on the part of (Russia's) Western partners, we continue opposing regress into primitive patterns of a blunt confrontation between Russia and the West,” he said. “Russia is ready to continue contributing to the solution of cross-border problems — naturally, on the basis of mutual respect and equality.”
Lavrov noted the persistence of global threats and challenges, saying they had not vanished because of an outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.
“Suffice it to recall a full-scale war the extremists have unleashed in Syria and Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the situation in Afghanistan,” he said. “Let’s not forget about crises in Africa, as we’ve already lent a helping hand to the EU in Chad and the Central African Republic. Also, we worked together against sea piracy.”
Only collective efforts can put up efficient counteraction to the challenges like terrorism, drug industry, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illegal migration, climate change and many others. “To give up collaboration is not a good option for relations between Russia and the West — neither for ourselves nor for them,” Lavrov said.
“It’s equally clear, however, that there is no return to the previous model of actions towards Russia that was based on insincerity and filled with double standards,” he said. “It’s impossible to keep adjusting international law to someone’s petty one-sided plans and ruining the authority of the UN Security Council by unscrupulous interpretations of its resolutions.”
“Business should be conducted decently and with respect for international law, in the first place for the UN Charter with all of the norms and principles embedded in it,” Lavrov said.