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Cooldown in Russia-US relations bound to last — Lavrov

October 20, 2014, 11:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In an open lecture Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the cooldown in Russia-US relations is bound to last, but there's no alternative to straightening out relations
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov


MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. The current cooling of relations between Russia and the United States is bound to last, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday in a public lecture on Russia’s foreign policy.

“Russia will be systematically explaining the utopian nature of attempts at restoring the mono-polar world,” Lavrov said.

“This period in our relations will be lengthy, and not only because the Ukrainian crisis will last for some period and all will have to think of pooling efforts in a constructive way rather than by applying unilateral sanctions. It will be so also because the Americans need time to reappraise their place in the world in general, to understand the developments of the past decade, realise that there is no alternative to the further strengthening of the multi-polar trend and strengthening of new centres of economic and financial power and political opinion,” the minister said.

“But these processes are underway, they are already observed within the framework of the Group of Twenty (G20), within Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), within the BRICS group (of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in Latin America,” Lavrov added.

According to him, Russia’s relations with the United States “have seen a major and deep decline.” “I hope this setback has reached some bottom. At least so far the relations are not declining further, but also there have been no obvious attempts to improve them,” the minister said.

He said he maintained a regular dialogue with US Secretary of State John Kerry and their meeting in Paris last week was the 13th this year. “In most cases it was the initiative of the American side. In my view, this can be explained by the fact that our partners, at least in the State Department, realise the abnormality of the situation in which many very important co-operation spheres are put at risk,” he source said. “It’s difficult to say how far this understanding goes beyond the State Department.”

“We confirmed at our latest meeting with John Kerry that much in the world depends on our countries’ interaction on international issues, so we will try to continue this interaction,” Lavrov said. “Russia does not intend to strike an attitude of the offended side and shoot itself in the foot or undermine some activities on which world security depends,” the foreign minister said.

Straightening out Russia’s relations with US, EU has no alternative

The minister, however, noted that straightening out Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union has no sound alternative.

“We proceed from the assumption that straightening out relations between us and the European Union, just as between us and the United States, has no alternative,” Lavrov said. “But for this it is important the other side should develop the same understanding and, what is most crucial, that understanding must be backed up by the awareness of counter-productiveness of coercive measures and the understanding of an equitable dialogue as the basis for onward movement.”

At the same time Lavrov is certain that “each country, if pan-European security is on the agenda, including the agenda of the OSCE, must have a say, have the courage to speak its mind loudly and clearly if it is certain of its rightness.”

“Several EU countries - you know them well enough and, mind you, not the largest EU countries - have been bold enough to declare their own stance (in relations with Russia),” Lavrov said. “For that some are trying to punish them, but I believe that their voices will not be muzzled. On the contrary they will be getting stronger and there will be ever more of them.”

“As before, we are pressing for strategic cooperation between us and the EU to be focused on gradually building a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific with reliance on a system of indivisible security, where no one will be getting greater security at the expense of others,” Lavrov added.

US monopolizes right to meddle in others’ affairs on excuse of human rights campaign

Lavrov criticized US foreign policy saying the country has monopolized the right to intervene in the internal affairs of other states under the slogan of campaigning for human rights.

“The United States has monopolized the right to intervene in other countries’ affairs on the pretext of campaigning for human rights and in doing so it uses a wide variety of methods,” he said. “Without a UN Security Council resolution or in violation of the UN Security Council’s mandate military interventions were launched in Yugoslavia and Libya. The United States has declared its right to use force wherever it pleases."

“If we speak on coalitions, let’s form such a coalition, let’s adopt such a decision at the UN Security Council,” Lavrov said.

“Making the fight against terrorism subordinated to a political aim of punishing these or those regimes is very wrong, abnormal and counterproductive and leads only to increasing chaos,” Lavrov stressed.

EU sanctions after ceasefire deal in Ukraine aim at affirming US leadership

Lavrov also the US used the Ukrainian crisis to affirm its position. He said the European Union's sanctions imposed on Russia under US pressure after agreements on a truce in eastern Ukraine had been concluded prove that the major goal was to affirm Washington’s leadership and its strive for bringing an irritant in relations between Russia and Europe.

“The fact that the last wave of sanctions was approved by the EU just after the ceasefire agreement shows Washington uses the situation around this country in order to impose the so-called leadership on the Euro-Atlantic space, try to make Europe to follow the way that many people come against and prove whatever Russia does these attempts won’t be stopped,” Lavrov said. “This is not the point to achieve settlement in Ukraine but to use Ukraine as an irritant in relations between Russia and Europe, as a pretext to try to make to put Russia in its place,” he said.

Liberal capitalism model not universal

The world is going through an era of changes, and it is obvious now that the liberal capitalist development pattern is not universal, Russian foreign minister said in his lecture.

“The world is going through a transition period and from all appearances, it is not a next transition stage that we are having but a change of epochs,” the minister said, noting that this process is accompanied by growing tensions in certain regions.

“The global financial economic crisis was a catalyst of changes, drawing the final line under speculations about a global victory of the liberal-capitalist model and a need for all to fit within that model,” Lavrov said.

“The end of history was proclaimed, but it failed to take place. It has become evident that the modern stage of international relations is characterized by competition, and not just in economy and finance, but a competition of values and development patterns,” the top Russian diplomat said.

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