Lavrov: West turning Ukraine into 'second Afghanistan'
In a meeting in China with his Pakistani counterpart, Russian FM has said the world is now going through “a very serious stage in the history of international relations.”
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has accused the West of attempting to turn Ukraine into “a second Afghanistan” amid Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine.
At a Wednesday meeting in China with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Lavrov said, “Those who tried to make Afghanistan the center of world politics are now trying to replace Afghanistan with Ukraine."
Lavrov's statements come ahead of the summit on Afghanistan, which will occur in China on Thursday and will be attended by Russia, China, the US, and Pakistan.
In the meeting, Lavrov told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the world is today going through “a very serious stage in the history of international relations,” adding that Moscow, Beijing, and their “sympathizers” will move together toward “a multipolar, fair, democratic” new world order.
In the meantime, China still adopts a ‘neutral’ position regarding the Ukrainian conflict.
Read more: Lavrov: Ukraine's neutral status discussed in talks
Earlier this week, Wang Yi said in an interview that “neither war nor sanctions are good solutions,” adding that it was the position of other Asian countries too, not just China's.
Read more: China maintains independent, objective stance on Ukraine
Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky, who leads the Russian delegation to the talks with Ukraine, said Ukraine proposed being proclaimed a neutral state in exchange for being guaranteed its security by a number of guarantor nations.
"[Kiev’s proposals imply that] for its part, the Russian Federation does not object to Ukraine’s desire to join the European Union," Medinsky stated.
In another context, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told reporters that "In order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing and signing (an) agreement, a decision was made to radically, by a large margin, reduce military activity in the Kyiv and Chernihiv directions."