Ukraine crisis stems from US desire to build unipolar world: Lavrov
Russia's operation in Ukraine contributes to the process of "liberating the world from the West's neocolonialist yoke," Lavrov says.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told China’s Xinhua News Agency that the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, as well as the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, are direct repercussions of the West's push to create a unipolar world, which included NATO's unrelenting eastward expansion.
“The US and NATO have always seen Ukraine as an instrument of containing Russia, “he added.
Lavrov went on to say that the reasons that eventually prompted Moscow to launch its military operation in Ukraine stemmed from a years-long Western policy that included instilling anti-Russian sentiments in Ukrainians and forcing them to choose between the West and Russia.
"It was the West that first instigated and then supported an anti-constitutional coup d'état in Kiev in 2014," Lavrov said, referring to an internal Ukrainian conflict that the US and its allies never attempted to resolve.
He also accused Washington and its allies of "fostering" Kiev's "aggressive anti-Russian course" and "pushing nationalists towards a military solution" to the Donbass crisis.
The top Russian diplomat went on to say that Washington and Brussels also dismissed Russia's proposals for security guarantees in Europe in December 2021, leaving Moscow with no choice but to launch a military operation to protect the people of the Donbass in response to a request from the leaders of the two republics Russia had recognized.
Russia eyes a “peaceful, free, neutral, prosperous and friendly Ukraine,” Lavrov stressed.
He has also stated that Moscow wishes to reestablish "hundreds of years of cultural, economic, and family ties between Russians and Ukrainians”, adding that Russian and Ukrainian delegations discuss the details of a potential peace agreement via video link on a daily basis.
The document should include provisions regarding Ukraine's "neutral, nuclear-free, non-aligned, and demilitarized status," as well as security guarantees, Lavrov said.
He believes that “the US and its allies de facto encourage Kiev to fight [Russia] to the last man by pumping [Ukraine] full of arms and sending their mercenaries” to its territory.
If the US and NATO were truly interested in resolving the Ukrainian crisis, they would have recognized that the Ukrainian people require humanitarian assistance rather than Stingers or Javelins, according to the minister.
Lavrov added that Russia has delivered "some 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid" to the Donbass republics, as well as the Ukrainian territories that its forces have seized since the operation began.
The top Russian diplomat revealed that approximately 2.8 million people, including 16,000 foreign citizens, have requested that Russia evacuate them from the conflict zone.
So far, Russia has evacuated over a million people, including 120,000 third-party citizens, and established over 9,500 "fully equipped" refugee shelters on its territory, he said, adding that those fleeing the conflict were also receiving "qualified medical aid and psychological assistance."
What is currently taking place is not a "new Cold War," but rather continued attempts by Washington and its allies to impose their "US-centric model of the world" on other countries, according to Lavrov.
He stressed that the United States and its allies want to replace the UN-based world order with their own "rules-based order."
The minister noted that Ukraine was not the only place in the world where the US and its allies sought to pursue this goal, citing NATO bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999, the 2003 Iraq invasion, and the war on Syrian as examples of this "destructive policy."
The US is now pursuing an "expressly anti-Chinese policy" in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.
Lavrov concluded by saying that Russia's operation in Ukraine contributes to the process of "liberating the world from the West's neocolonialist yoke, which is heavily based on racism and [American] exceptionalism."