Saudi Arabia trolled collective West with Jeddah summit: Lavrov
The Russian diplomat said that the idea that relations between Russia and the collective West would return to normal is unrealistic.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that he was informed by Saudi officials that the Jeddah summit on Ukraine was set up for the sole purpose of convincing the collective West and its allies of the futility of negotiations without the participation of Moscow.
On August 5-6, Saudi Arabia hosted international consultations on Ukraine in Jeddah. Representatives from over 30 countries participated in the summit, except Russia. The consultations were meant to be a follow-up to a similar conference that was held in Denmark in June. Both meetings failed to deliver any concrete results.
"Our Saudi friends told us that they want to host another meeting in this format in Jeddah. They said that this is being done solely in order to convey to the Western participants and Ukraine itself the idea of the complete futility of any discussions without the participation of Russia, which they did at the event that took place in Jeddah," Lavrov said during his annual address to students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
Russia to refuse G20 Summit Declaration if Moscow's position sidelined
On another note, the diplomat said that Russia will refuse to agree with the upcoming G20 summit's declaration if the latter sidelines Russia's stance on global crises.
He added that the West's excessive focus on the Ukraine conflict at every meeting has distracted international participants from the primary goal of stabilizing the global economy.
"If you have already decided to rewrite the mandate of the G20, you want it to deal with international crises, we have issued our document with list of conflicts that still exist, which have roots in the wars unleashed by the West," Lavrov said, adding that Moscow could discuss these conflicts with the West if it "wants it." However, that would make the G20's work similar to that of the UN.
"In any case, there will be no joint declaration [at the G20 summit] on behalf of all members that does not reflect our position. There will be no such declaration," Lavrov added.
Russia to not cooperate with West in areas crucial to security
Even if the West demonstrated intentions to restore diplomatic relations, Russia will refrain from cooperating with the West in areas crucial to the country's security, Lavrov said.
"Even if suddenly, by some incomprehensible command from above, the West suggests that we return to more or less normal contacts, we will already be thinking about whether we should do something, and if we should, in what areas. We will not cooperate with the West [in those areas] on which our security depends in every sense: military and political security, economic, technological [security]," the diplomat said.
The minister admitted that the sanctions against Russia were causing major problems, but he assured that the government was taking measures to lessen the impact and that these efforts were having a positive outcome.
The idea that relations with the West would return to normal is unrealistic, he noted.
Draft roadmap for Syria-Turkey normalization still under review
The draft plan for normalizing relations between Syria and Turkey is still being reviewed, and discussions are ongoing to reach a mutually agreeable version, the diplomat said.
"We handed over the draft roadmap to all our colleagues in June this year. Now, it is under consideration, contacts are ongoing to bring it to a generally acceptable state when this project could be approved," Lavrov said.
Russia presented a draft roadmap to Syria, Turkey, and Iran in June, following several rounds of talks on normalizing relations. The roadmap prioritizes restoring the Syrian government's control throughout the country, securing the Syrian-Turkish border, and preventing cross-border attacks or terrorist infiltration.