ANTALYA /Turkey/, March 10. /TASS/. Russia will be able to solve its economic problems in such a way that it will not depend on Western governments and companies ever again, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks with his Ukrainian and Turkish counterparts Dmitry Kuleba and Mevlut Cavusoglu.
"We will solve this problem in such a way that never again will we depend on [our] Western partners, be it governments or companies that are not guided by the interests of their business, but have become a tool of political aggression, Russia is now experiencing from the West," he said.
"We will make sure that we never find ourselves in a similar situation again and that no ‘Uncle Sam’ or anyone else can make decisions that are aimed at destroying our economy," he vowed.
We will find a way to no longer depend on it, and it should have been done a long time ago," Lavrov added.
Oil and gas are not weaponized
Touching upon claims that Russia ‘weaponizes’ its oil and gas supplies, Lavrov preferred to leave such accusations "to the discretion and conscience of Western colleagues."
"As for oil and gas: we leave it all to the discretion and conscience of our Western colleagues," he said, adding "We have never used oil and gas as a weapon, although they (Western colleagues - TASS) regularly accuse us of doing so."
In this regard, the minister recalled how more than ten years ago, Ukraine provoked a crisis by getting into the habit of stealing natural gas, which was supplied through its territory via transit from Russia to Europe.
"We regularly shipped transit gas to Europe in full compliance with our obligations regarding volumes and prices, but they siphoned it off," he said.
"Do you think Europe somehow tried to manage them? Not at all: they started to claim that it was Russia, which was weaponizing this gas, although they knew perfectly well what was really going on."
Ukraine as a tool against Russia
"Everything that is happening with regards to Ukraine is measured by a lone standard, how to harm Russia through this country, and how to contain Russia," the top diplomat said.
"This containment began long ago, before it was officially announced," he added.
Lavrov highlighted the fact that in the West they "called Russia every name in the book, imposed sanctions, banned their companies from staying in the country, everyone fled, but at the same time they say that they will buy oil and gas, because otherwise they will freeze from the cold." According to him, such behavior perfectly demonstrated Europe’s so-called values.
The minister also spoke about the threats being echoed in the West to impose an embargo on the purchase of Russian energy resources. "Go ahead! If they stop buying oil and gas, our Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who oversees the energy sector, spoke in detail that we will not persuade them to buy our oil and gas," he stressed.
"If they want to substitute it, they are welcome to do so. "We will have markets for sales, we already have them," he added.