MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Western supplies of long-range weapons to Kiev will eventually force Moscow to push the Ukrainian army further back from its borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a Thursday interview with TV news anchor Dmitry Kiselyov. The top diplomat stressed that everyone would like to resolve the situation in Ukraine but it was the end result that mattered, not the timing. He also stated that the West sought to turn Moldova into "the next Ukraine," and assured that Russia would cope with the current situation on its own and would emerge stronger. TASS has put together Lavrov’s key remarks.
On situation in Ukraine
Everyone wants the conflict in Ukraine to end, but what matters is not the timing but "a quality end-result that we can secure for our nation, for those people who want to remain part of Russian culture and who have for years been deprived of all things Russian by the Kiev junta with Western connivance."
"At this point, we are acting based on the principle proclaimed by our Western colleagues: victory should be won on the battlefield. This is their formula, and they were the ones who refused to negotiate."
The minister himself stands "unequivocally for peace" and opposes the formula "if you want peace, prepare for war." "I share the idea that I would put this way: if you want peace, always be ready to defend yourself." Russia has not asked its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for assistance: "We have everything we need <...> to achieve the goals of the special military operation."
On Western weapons supplies
Russia seeks to push the Ukrainian army back to a distance from which it will no longer pose a threat. "The more long-range weapons the Kiev regime receives from the West, the further Moscow will have to push it back from the areas that are part of our country."
"The four new territories <...> joined Russia following a referendum." Increasing military assistance to Kiev will only lead to escalation: "Everything began with some helmets <...>, then there were small arms, and now they are openly talking about aircraft."
On West’s actions against Russia
The West seeks to make Russia suffer "a lasting strategic defeat" in Ukraine: "What is it if not racism, Nazism, and an attempt to find a solution to the ‘Russian question’?"
The majority of developing countries did not support the West’s position on Russia’s military operation, taking a more neutral stance: "So please respect their neutrality."
Russia is working on a "report" to be issued by the first anniversary of the operation, which will not only concern US-run military biological laboratories in Ukraine and Washington’s direct involvement in the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines: "There is a need to recall many things and expose the methods that the US employs to achieve hegemony."
On Moldova as ‘next Ukraine’
Western countries are looking at Moldova to play the role of the "next Ukraine" because Maia Sandu, whom they managed to put at the head of the state through methods far from democratic, "is eager to join NATO" as she is "ready to unite with Romania and in fact, to do almost anything." Moldova’s refusal to resume activities within the "five plus one" group on Transnistria says a lot, making it clear that the Moldovan authorities "are prepared to resolve the Transnistria issue by force."
The West wants to turn Georgia into another irritant for Russia but the country’s authorities continue to be guided by their national interests despite demands to join the sanctions on Moscow.
On idea of ‘non-aggression pact’ between Kiev and Minsk
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko views Kiev’s proposal to conclude a non-aggression pact with Minsk as "absolutely meaningless" and "openly provocative." The proposal comes "at a time when the Belarusian opposition is being nurtured and armed, and is also being allowed to gain battle experience" in Ukraine in order "to perform similar missions in Belarus later."
On upcoming ‘Summit of Democracies’
The West plans to formulate the demands of "democracies" to "autocracies" at the next "Summit of Democracies," scheduled for late March. "Along with us, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela have been classified as autocracies, that is, the countries who refuse to obey the West’s demands." "It is the Americans who will appoint the ‘democracies.’ No offense, but if we look at the list of the countries that were invited to the first Summit of Democracies, there are some nations whom even the Americans never considered to be democratic." Moscow will do everything possible to make sure that "anti-Russian covens held in New York and on other platforms are not the only events that attract the international community’s attention.".