MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. The remarks made by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper regarding Washington’s successful "containment" of alleged aggression of Russia and China sparked regret in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday following a videoconference with his counterparts from the African Union trio (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and South Africa).
"If the Pentagon chief believes that the containment of Russia and China is the main goal of its agency, then this means that the same philosophy is practiced by the current US administration, which is literally obsessed with a desire to contain everyone but itself, seeking to eliminate everything that limits its freedom of action or even freedom, say, of impunity by the US administration on the global arena — be it the INF Treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the activity of UNESCO, of the UN Human Rights Council or the World Health Organization," he noted. "This sort of attitude and philosophy of the Pentagon chief is regrettable, because we are interested in fostering a normal dialogue with all countries, including, of course, the US."
Having chided Esper’s remarks, the chief diplomat went on to point out that the military usually "exhibits more cautiousness in situations that could lead to conflict, especially hot ones." "These days, in their dialogue with us, the Americans seek to drop the very term ‘strategic stability’ and replace it with ‘strategic competition’," he continued. "Therefore, this philosophy itself suggests that the Americans are preparing for conflict with any country that would seek to protect its interests. This is bad, bad for the US itself," Lavrov cautioned.
The top diplomat speculated that, by embellishing some threats from Russia and China, Washington seeks to deflect the American public’s attention from the current domestic strife that has been intensifying.
“Perhaps, election campaign concerns are playing their role, in addition to the fact that political points have to be scored," he added. "However, this is unfortunate if this is done by eliminating checks and balances on the global arena, or by giving various ventures free reign in order to win additional votes."
"We would like any country to build its foreign policy, to set its priorities not on containing someone, but to ensure strategic stability based on a balance of interests of all nations, including, of course the leading global powers," Lavrov stressed. "We advocate dialogue, strategic stability, as proposed by President Putin, including within the framework of our initiative to call the UN Security Council permanent members summit."