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West’s "part in war" and "no first steps" from Russia: Lavrov to reporters in UN

Russian Foreign Minister spoke about the mediators between Russia and Ukraine and stressed that the policy of the Ukrainian authorities led to referendums in the Donbass and in the liberated territories

UN, September 25. /TASS/. Russia is not giving up contacts with the West, but will not "make any first steps", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on Saturday after taking part in the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

The Minister warned that the supply of weapons to Kiev makes Western countries a party to the conflict. He spoke about the mediators between Russia and Ukraine and stressed that the policy of the Ukrainian authorities led to referendums in the Donbass and in the liberated territories. TASS collected Lavrov's main statements at a press conference.

On referendums

Russia, as [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin said, will unequivocally respect the results of the referendums that are being held in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) as well as in the liberated areas of the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions.

The West’s reaction shows that they do not recognize "direct expression of citizens’ will has long ceased to be a form of establishing control over this or that territory." "The hysteria we are witnessing is quite revealing," Lavrov said.

The remarks by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that if people living in eastern Ukraine consider themselves to be Russians, seek to speak Russian, then they should "get out to Russia" paved the way for the declaration of referendums on these territories’ accession to Russia, Lavrov stressed.

On protection of Russian territory

"The entire territory of the Russian Federation, which is confirmed and can be further confirmed in the Russian Constitution, is certainly under the state’s full protection," Lavrov said.

As for situations when Russia can use nuclear weapons they are clearly specified in the country’s military doctrine, he added.

On West as party to conflict

The actions of the West, which supplies Kiev with weapons and intelligence data, is "participation in the war." If Western countries do not recognize themselves as parties to the conflict, they must comply with international conventions that describe the duties of neutral states.

At the same time, the United States " considers the current situation around Ukraine as a litmus test to measure its ability to remain hegemony."

On talks with Ukraine

Moscow cannot negotiate with Kiev because of the position of the West, which calls for resolving the conflict "on the battlefield": "What kind of negotiations can we talk about?"

Russia initially did not refuse dialogue with Ukraine, but "the other side does not want to": "Therefore, we should not be labeled objectors."

Many are proposing mediation between Russia and Ukraine, but Moscow wants to understand "what will grow out of this." At the same time, mediators should not be limited to negotiations only with Kiev: "Is this serious? Doesn't any thinking person understand that Ukraine is led by the United States and increasingly by London?"

On contacts with West

Russia is not giving up contacts with the United States and NATO, and if they want to meet "quietly, so that no one finds out about this."

"We are not refusing to hold contacts. When certain proposals are submitted, we agree," Lavrov said. "If our partners want to meet quietly so that no one finds out about this, welcome."

However, Moscow will not seek such contacts: "It’s always better to talk than not to talk. But in the situation where we are now Russia won’t take any first steps," Lavrov said.

"Two countries from the European Union and one country from NATO wanted to hold meetings with me [on the sidelines of the General Assembly]. They asked that these meetings be non-public, that they not be reported. I said: well, as you wish. <.. .> Having received such a reaction, they fell off the radar."

On grain deal

Moscow expects UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey to secure the removal of US and European restrictions on Russian food and fertilizer exports as part of the deal. Guterres at a meeting with Lavrov "confirmed that there is still a lot of work <...> but they are making some promises to him."

On West’s "blatant racism"

The Western countries’ actions against Russia are "blatant racism, when instantly, at the drop of a hat, everyone began to ban everything Russian." As it turns out, it [racism] "has not vanished anywhere. It is no longer latent, but already blatant racism, and it is being propagated."

On changes in EU

The European Union is becoming an authoritarian alliance and a dictatorship. Brussels, in particular, did not allow Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadis to meet with the Russian delegation in New York: "An hour before we were supposed to meet, the protocol of Mr. Anastasiadis informed our protocol that the European Union did not allow him to go to the meeting with me. Literally."

On expansion of UN Security Council

Russia is against expanding the UN Security Council at the expense of Western countries (including Japan). The expansion should mean admitting Asian, African and Latin American states. "Strong candidates" for permanent members of the Security Council are Brazil and India, but simultaneously, "Africa's profile" should be "raised accordingly."

On reasons for emigration of Russians

"Has Germany not ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights, where there is freedom of movement?"

When will the conflict in Ukraine end?

"How long this situation will last, I will not guess.".