MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. A solution to the situation around Ukraine will certainly be found and the West will get over its hysteria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Russian and foreign media outlets on Thursday.
He emphasized that Moscow was confident it was doing the right thing in Ukraine, pointed out that the current developments weren’t a Hollywood action movie "where there is an absolute evil and an absolute good," and stressed that thoughts of a nuclear war "are circling in the heads" of Western politicians but not Russian ones.
TASS has put together the key statements that Lavrov made.
Russia is confident that the situation around Ukraine will be resolved. "A solution will certainly be found, I have no doubt about it. The conditions that we view as a minimum are no secret," Lavrov said.
Moscow is ready to hold talks with Kiev but will continue the military operation because it can’t "let Ukraine keep infrastructure facilities that threaten Russia." "Demilitarization in this sense <...> will be completed, even if we sign a peace agreement. This agreement will certainly include such a paragraph," the top diplomat noted.
It is too early to assess the Russian operation and Russian-Ukrainian talks but Moscow is confident that it is "doing the right thing."
Foreign media covering the situation around Ukraine should be guided by facts instead of emotions. "I urge you to assess facts rather than pretend that it is some Hollywood action movie where there is an absolute evil and an absolute good."
On relations with West
"I am sure that this hysteria will fade away and our Western partners will get over it. We are always prepared for dialogue on the condition that it is based on equality and respect for each other’s interests."
The current sanctions "are some kind of a tax on independence" and the countries that barred their companies from working in Russia made the move under "huge pressure."
"If they expect <...> Russia to crawl under the bench and give in to someone’s dictatorship, their expectations are wrong. In fact, they should remember our history, we have never made agreements under pressure."
The collective West cannot decide what Russia needs to ensure security. "They tell us: the NATO accession of Ukraine or any other country, which is not part of the alliance now, won’t pose any threat to Russia’s security. Why on earth should the West decide what we need to ensure our security?"
The US now dominates Europe like Napoleon and Hitler tried to do in their time. "You know, I have comparisons to make: at some point, Napoleon and Hitler tried to subjugate Europe. Now it is dominated by the US," Lavrov noted. "It is clear that NATO has no questions about it, and the EU knows its place."
The US openly blackmails other states in order to achieve the results it needs in a UN vote. "We are well aware of the methods that our Western colleagues use to achieve these results: these include straight-up blackmail, and arm-twisting."
On nuclear war
"It’s clear to everyone that World War III can only be a nuclear one. However, I would like to point out that thoughts of a nuclear war are circling in the heads of Western politicians but not in the heads of Russians."
It is the West and not Moscow that is talking about deploying and using nuclear weapons. Such statements have particularly been made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Russia does not seek "an escalation for the sake of an escalation" as conditions for the use of nuclear weapons are clarified in the national military doctrine (according to the document, Moscow reserves the right to use nuclear weapons if it faces an attack involving weapons of mass destruction or in case foreign aggression involving conventional arms jeopardizes "the very existence of the state" - TASS).