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Lavrov says West prone to slapping sanctions on any country ‘deemed irritating’

"I have already mentioned China as their possible next target," the top diplomat emphasized

ADDIS ABABA, July 27. /TASS/. The West is prone to slapping sanctions on any country, which it believes is irritating them somehow, and China may be the next on the list, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"I have no doubts at all that if necessary, they will do the same to any other country, which somehow would be irritating them," Russia’s top diplomat stated addressing members of the diplomatic corps accredited in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. "I have already mentioned China as their possible next target."

"This is a very telling example of how the Americans truly approach honest competition," Lavrov said, commenting on the West’s sanctions.

The Russian top diplomat said China is the world’s number one economy and that is recognized by everyone.

"China has attained these results by acting based on the rules previously set by the West - the International Monetary Fund [IMF], the World Bank, the World Trade Organization [WTO], regulations regarding the settlement of disputes and [issues of] competition. China had accepted all of these rules to cultivate its economy," Lavrov remarked.

"So what happened next?" Russia’s foreign minister asked, pointing out that China managed to triumph over the West as far as the economy is concerned.

"For a couple of years now, the US Treasury Secretary and other officials started speaking about reforming the Bretton Woods institutions, and about reforming the WTO [the World Trade Organization] and that such reforms must be handled by the United States and Europe without any third party’s interference in drafting new regulations," Lavrov noted.

Russia was recently slapped by Western countries with numerous sets of sanction packages in view of Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.

The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.