MOSCOW, September 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The United States has failed to set the whole world against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said in the Right to Know talk show on the TV Tsentr channel.
“The United States, which I would not characterize as bad or cruel (that country is what it is, obsessed with the certainty about its exclusiveness and there is no way of reforming it), is sending its emissaries all over the world and persuading everybody to be against us,” Lavrov said.
“That is true. But they have managed to persuade practically no one, except for the EU and some of its closest allies outside NATO and the European Union.”
Lavrov said Russia by no means had the feeling it was all alone. “I cannot agree that everybody is against us, that everybody is trying to steer clear of us, that we have no partners with whom we can develop a constructive and decent agenda,” Lavrov said. “The geographic scope of international contacts in Russia and outside it is a confirmation of that. And not just the geographic scope, but the content of the agreements we conclude.”
In this context the Russian foreign minister recalled the numerous documents Russia had signed with the BRICS countries and Persian Gulf states. As an example he mentioned the recent visit Bahrain’s crown prince paid to Russia to conclude an agreement with the Direct Investment Fund.
“Western counterparts in the very same European Union wish to have contacts with us and they do have contacts, they keep visiting us, making phone calls and inviting us,” Lavrov said. “Some scheduled contacts have been postponed till later dates.”
“That’s an ostrich posture,” he believes. “Having declared in public about a forced postponement of this or that meeting or visit they at once ask us ‘not to get it all wrong’ and confirm their interest in further discussions and solutions of everything that had been originally planned, but later. For God’s sake! We aren’t touchy.
The United States is using the crisis in Ukraine to isolate Europe from Russia economically, Lavrov said.
“There is a big battle going on, of course. America wants to use the current situation in order to separate Europe from Russia economically and bargain for the best possible conditions as part of the ongoing talks on the creation of a trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership. The talks have been conducted for several years and Europe has been defending its interests quite stoically,” Lavrov told TV Tsentr’s Pravo Znat programme (The Right to Know).
Europeans believe that the U.S. is seeking to reap unfair benefits in this process, he said. “These efforts have been stepped up lately, including through attempts to impose American liquefied gas supplies upon Europe at prices that cannot compete with Russian gas prices. There are undoubtedly economic interests behind this. But geopolitical calculations are playing a big and even key role,” he said.
And yet the European Union is reevaluating the situation.
“The fact that that EU countries, not even the major or leading ones, are beginning to openly say that the policy of sanctions leads nowhere and is counterproductive speaks volumes,” the minister said.
Speaking of the causes of the U.S. and EU influence in the case of Ukraine, Lavrov attributed it to Washington’s speculation on universal values. “‘Ukraine had a president who had undermined and failed to live up to people’s trust and who was deposed as a result of democratic revolution; there prevailed European values the adoption of which by Ukraine he sought to block by refusing to sign the [association] agreement with the European Union’. As simple as that,” Lavrov said.
“It is Europe that produced the thinkers who said that economics determines politics, but the EU is declaring the opposite of that now - it is ready to sacrifice the economy for the sake of politics. This is an extreme degree of ideologisation. This cannot last long and one can already hear reasonable voices in the European Union which have noted an absolutely paradoxical situation where the EU instructed the Committee of Permanent Representatives in Brussels to prepare new sanctions on the very same day the peace agreement was signed in Minsk [on September 5]; on the very day things got off the ground, primarily owing to the initiative put forth by Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the minister said.
Also Lavrov said that the United States has been claiming exclusiveness using the same technologies in foreign policy for decades.
“This is what reflects the logic and foreign policy philosophy of the Americans, including U.S. President Barack Obama’s who has made ‘the exclusiveness of the Americans’ his main motto,” Lavrov told TV Tsentr's Pravo Znat programme (The Right to Know).
His comments came in reply to a question whether in relations with its Latin American neighbours the U.S. was guided by international law or “the rule of the gun”.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to this in several of his statements. I will not repeat him. But one must remember that claims of exclusiveness have on many occasions led to human catastrophes. One must read history and learn lessons,” the minister said.
He said the interviewer’s reference to the U.S. interference in Panama where President Manuel Antonio Noriega was captured in a military operation in 1989, which had not been authorised by the U.N., showed how little Washington’s policy had changed over years.
“There was also Grenada [where the government was overthrown as a result of the U.S. invasion in 1983 to protect U.S. citizens] and events in Haiti in the last quarter of last century when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed as a result of the ‘Haitian Maidan’ and had to flee the capital. The U.S. gave him shelter, supported and encouraged him, and then brought him back to power in Haiti. So now they say: if [former Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovich is gone, anything is allowed. Ukraine is not Haiti of course, but that’s all the more reason to treat with greater care,” Lavrov said.
He said the same technologies were used in all these cases. “Let us not forget that the U.S. National Security Doctrine adopted in 2010 states very clearly that the U.S. respects international law but reserves the right to resort to any action to protect its interests, including the use of force without the U.N. authorisation,” the minister said.