Lavrov demands clarification on Borrell's 'fascist Russia' comments
Borrell's comment of "fascist Russia" at the European Parliament meeting in Prague has caused tension and raised questions by Lavrov who assured Moscow's intention to ask for clarification.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Tuesday Moscow's intent to request clarification regarding the recent remark by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Russia.
At the European Parliament inter-parliamentary conference in Prague on Monday, Borrell switched to his native Spanish to answer lawmakers' questions about the bloc's stance against Russia, when an Estonian lawmaker asked a question, using the phrase "fascist Russia". In response, his answer quoted the question, mentioning the same expression but the interpreter failed to underline that it was a quote and instead presented it as Borrell's original statement.
"We requested from Borrell's office the transcript of the speech in Spanish. We have not received it. We will seek complete clarity, and if we do not receive this transcript in Spanish today, then we will draw the appropriate conclusions," Lavrov said at a briefing.
This comes in light of Borrell's most recent request for increasing military training for Ukrainian troops in an informal meeting in Spain. Borrell also complained in July that Lavrov received greater attention in the Western media than he should, thus giving Russia an advantage and legitimacy in its actions despite the Ukraine war. The EU foreign policy chief made these remarks in an interview for the Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
This also follows a wave of Russophobia that hit Russian citizens across the globe following the war in Ukraine, whereby EU countries like the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, and the Netherlands have taken steps to impede visa issuances to Russians, in addition to Russian diplomats and ambassadors being removed from their duty stations, such as Slovakia and Belgium.
The enormous series of packages by the West for sanctioning Russia are significant factors in both contributing to and promoting Russian hate crimes and discrimination. Sanctions even included acts against Russian cats. Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho pointed out earlier this year that the crisis in Ukraine was being used as a pretext for peddling anti-Russia sentiment, tweeting: "Ukraine crisis a convenient excuse for Russophobia."