Lavrov: Cooperation between China and Russia will only strengthen
Relations between Moscow and Beijing have reached an extraordinarily high level, stated the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.
Cooperation between China and Russia will only strengthen as the West weakens all underpinnings of the international system, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"Now, of course, I think this interaction [between Russia and China] will be strengthened, because in the context when the West is just brutally undermining all the foundations the international system is based on, certainly, we need to consider what the two great powers will do in this world," Lavrov said on the margins of the Leaders of Russia management competition.
The Russian foreign minister also stressed that relations between Moscow and Beijing have reached an extraordinarily high level, surpassing even traditional ally connections.
Russia had no other choice
Russia had no alternative but to undertake a military operation to disrupt Kiev's policies, which were becoming increasingly unfriendly to Russia and Russian people, including those in Ukraine, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Since last fall, Lavrov has referenced Moscow's fruitless attempts to secure mutual European security assurances with the US and NATO.
"Against this background, when Donbass started to be shelled [by the Ukrainian military] in obvious preparation for hostilities, we had no other choice to protect the Russian people in Ukraine. We recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republic, signed a mutual assistance agreement with them, and in response to their request, the president instructed to carry out a special military operation," Lavrov said regarding the margins of the Leaders of Russia management competition.
"I am sure you know about how in the course of this operation our worst suspicions found confirmation, concerning those plans which had been nurtured and which our operation managed to avert, including the plans to take over Donbass. And you also know about the facts unearthed about the dangerous military-biological program that the Pentagon has been carrying out in many Ukrainian cities," Lavrov added.
Russia's operation in Ukraine is 'legitimate'
The aims of the Russian special operation in Ukraine are lawful, and once completed, Ukraine should be able to become neutral and receive comprehensive security assurances, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.
"We have announced our goals. These tasks are absolutely legitimate and understandable," Lavrov said at the Leaders of Russia event.
He expressed hope that the special operation would result in a comprehensive agreement on Ukraine's neutral status that would give it security guarantees.
"We have announced the goals that we are now achieving. As for the intra-Ukrainian dialogue, this is the task of the Ukrainians after our operation is completed," Lavrov added.
On February 24, Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. In response, Western countries and their allies have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.