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African countries fed up with West’s demands to join sanctions on Russia — Lavrov

According to Russia’s top diplomat, "the statement about the West having isolated Russia means only one thing: the West considers itself the center of the universe"

MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. A number of African and Latin American countries say they’ve had enough of the West trying to make them join sanctions against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"[There are] direct threats and punishment. I asked some of my friends from Africa and Latin America who are complaining that they’ve had enough of the West (speaking plainly), ordering them to join the sanctions and telling them what they’ll get in return economically, financially," Lavrov pointed out in an interview with Tsargrad TV, published on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Wednesday.

"If you join the sanctions, then you lose. Lowering their eyes, they say that in exchange they promise not to punish them," he added.

‘Center of the universe’

According to Russia’s top diplomat, "the statement about the West having isolated Russia means only one thing: the West considers itself the center of the universe." "It is the only explanation for its current policy," he added.

"Attempts of the Western countries to force the Global South and the global majority, as we call them now, to join the anti-Russia sanctions have been challenged by the intention of the overwhelming majority of developing countries to build their own policy based on national interests, the needs of their own economies and social objectives," Lavrov went on to say.

In his view, the West’s policy is failing. "Yes, they refer to the results of UN votes on the provocative resolutions that have been drawn up in a devious fashion. In addition to the biggest possible number of generally recognized statements, they include clearly anti-Russia wording between the lines. It is like this joke: ‘It is cheaper to agree than to explain why I won’t do it’," Lavrov stressed.

According to him, the countries of the Global South "voted but did not join the sanctions, just to be left alone." "If you are right, you will not use sanctions to blackmail, threaten or punish others into agreeing with you. Never has it occurred to those who are certain that they are right. But the West is not certain," the Russian foreign minister said, adding: "If they are big on democracy, they should let others make their own decisions."

Lavrov emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has explained the background of the [special military] operation and where it comes from, at length: it is a result of the coup and refusal to comply with the Minsk agreements, the continuing hostilities against Donbass, against the civilian sector and civilians, for eight years."

Putin "demonstrated that we had no other choice." "Some may disagree. The West did not agree. The others can decide for themselves who is right and who is wrong and who they want to support, the white, the red - or be neutral. But they are being prevented from choosing," the top diplomat noted. "They are being forced to join something that is against Russia. Those who know they are right would not behave this way," he concluded.