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Lavrov sees no way to return to former relations between Russia, West

The top diplomat asserted that the UN Security Council resolution on the Minsk Agreements was a legally binding document

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russia cannot restore its relations with Western countries, and Moscow will not allow anyone to lie to them upon signing international documents, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2022, he said, "Things will never be the same again. <…> We warned long ago saying, well, guys, there will never be a situation where you lie to us by signing documents, and then refusing to implement the agreements."

Among such Western lies, Lavrov mentioned the signing of the Russia-NATO declaration, the OSCE’s Istanbul and Astana declarations and the February 2014 agreement on Ukrainian settlement with German, French and Polish guarantees. He also pointed to the Minsk accords which were approved by the United Nations Security Council. "The West never planned to implement any of those agreements, they just lied to us as their presidents and prime ministers solemnly signed off on these commitments. Therefore, we have not believed a word lately," Russia’s top diplomat said.

Lavrov also explained why Russia believed Western officials previously. "There is a rule in Russia, dating back to the old days when merchants struck deals without signing any papers. If you failed to keep your word, nobody would respect you. Well, we dropped this practice when NATO promised never to expand. Ever since, we have signed politically and even legally binding documents," he added.

Lavrov asserted that the UN Security Council resolution on the Minsk Agreements was a legally binding document. "They have been demanding that Russia pull out of Ukraine and implement the UN Charter in full. Meanwhile, the UN Charter, among other things, says that all UN member countries must abide by UN Security Council resolutions. And the UN Security Council resolution on Ukraine was sabotaged to block any conflict settlement so that further suffering in the current circumstances be prevented," Lavrov emphasized.