Lavrov: West declared 'hybrid, total war' on Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the West wants to “destroy, break, exterminate, and strangle Russian economy and Russia as a whole”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated Friday that "a total, hybrid war" is being waged by the West against Russia, stressing that recent batches of sanctions aim to “exterminate” the Russian economy.
Speaking at a meeting of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund in Moscow, Lavrov added that Western retaliation to Russia’s operation in Ukraine amounted to “war.”
“Today we have been declared a real hybrid war, a total war,” he said.
The top Russian diplomat went on to say adding that the latter term [a real hybrid war] “was used by Hitler's Germany” and “is now voiced by many European politicians when they talk about what they want to do with the Russian Federation.”
“The goals are not hidden, they declared them publicly – to destroy, break, exterminate, strangle the Russian economy and Russia as a whole,” he stressed.
Lavrov argued that the sanctions would not have the intended effect of isolating Russia's economy, pointing out that "the majority of countries in the world are interested in equal interstate cooperation based on the key principles of the UN Charter."
Furthermore, he urged Diplomacy Fund members to take note of nations that have refused to join the "anti-Russian hysteria," despite pressure from the US and a number of allied powers.
China, India and Iran are among those countries that have refused to cut ties with Moscow over the war in Ukraine, despite all three calling for an end to the fighting and a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
See more: Who is with or against sanctions on Russia?
Meanwhile, Beijing has explicitly stated that it will not budge on its relations with Russia, insisting on an "independent" stance on the Ukraine conflict, while India has increased trade with Moscow in recent weeks, agreeing earlier this month to purchase Russian crude oil at a discount.
Russia launched a special military operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion. Other reasons were the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
In response, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.