US benefited most from Nord Stream pipelines damages: Lavrov
The Foreign Minister confirms that Russia takes into account the threats of US secondary sanctions.
The scenario surrounding Russia's Nord Stream pipelines is first and foremost beneficial to the United States, which is interested in forcing competitors off the European natural gas market, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.
"An answer to the question of who may benefit from such developments is obvious," Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s Argumenty I Fakty daily. "First of all it is beneficial for the United States and its suppliers of expensive LNG [liquefied natural gas] supplying it from across the ocean and who are interested in ousting by force competitors on the European natural gas market."
"I will quote [Russian] President Vladimir Putin here, who announced in his September 30 statement about who was behind the sabotage, actually pointing a finger at the Americans - ‘it is obvious to all who is profiting from this’," Russia’s top diplomat added.
Putin accused the West of being behind the reported damage to the Nord Stream pipelines. He said it had already "practically begun to destroy shared European energy infrastructure," stressing that "it is obvious to all who is profiting from this."
On September 26, unprecedented damage to three threads of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines was discovered. Two explosions were observed by Swedish seismologists along the pipelines. Investigators from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) later started a criminal investigation into the blasts as an act of international terrorism. It is currently impossible to figure out how long it will take to restore the pipelines to operational capacity.
Lavrov believes it’s possible to break vicious circle in relations with US
The vicious Russia-US cycle of relations could be broken if Washington abandons its will to be globally dominant, Lavrov explained. "Is it possible to break this vicious circle? It certainly is. In order to move forward, Washington needs to seriously work on its mistakes and abandon its claims to global dominance. It should also draw conclusions from its failed attempts to interfere in our domestic affairs," he emphasized.
However, in Lavrov’s words, the Americans have actually "trampled on international law" and "the unwritten taboos in terms of diplomatic practices," which had existed for decades. "Despite the current geopolitical reality, the US seeks to bring other members of the international community to heel and make everyone follow the rules that it invents," the top Russian diplomat noted.
"Russia-hating elites in the US are irrationally pushing the White House towards an open confrontation with Russia. In fact, it is about a reckless policy aimed at escalating global tensions," Lavrov added. "We understand that it’s painful and hard for the US to accept the new global balance of power. However, the sooner it starts taking the geopolitical reality into account, the fewer follies it will commit and the better the objective formation of a more fair and democratic polycentric world order will go," he said.
Russia takes into account threats of US secondary sanctions: Lavrov
The Foreign Minister added that Moscow considers all potential dangers posed by secondary sanctions imposed by the US in its work with its partners, and no restrictive measures will obstruct mutually beneficial cooperation.
"Certainly, threats of secondary sanctions on behalf of the United States are taken into account at all stages of the work with our constructive foreign partners," Lavrov said.
"We are developing cooperation with them proceeding from the stance of bilateral interests and mutual benefits. None of the restrictive measures can obstruct such unbiased processes, which reflect present-day realities," the top Russian diplomat said.
West unable to tear Russian economy to pieces: Lavrov
Lavrov stressed that the West has been and will be unable to tear the Russian economy to pieces. "They failed to tear the Russian economy to pieces, which is what [former US President Barack] Obama had dreamed of. And they will never be able to do it. What they wanted us to go through is now starting to happen in their countries. A number of European countries are facing sharply rising prices, falling incomes, and energy shortages. Political scientists are already talking about a growing threat of social upheavals. The benefits of civilization that they are used to are turning into a privilege for the Europeans. This is the price that common people are paying for their politicians’ Russophobia."
Meanwhile, Russia is trying to bolster its economic and technological independence by building alternative finance and logistics channels for international trade. "We will continue to boost ties with our partners in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, who, like us, stand for equal cooperation and oppose attempts to politicize trade and economic relations," the Russian top diplomat concluded.
Lavrov highlights defensive nature of Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy
Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy is solely defensive, Lavrov confirmed. "Our nuclear deterrence policy is solely defensive," he pointed out. "I would like to emphasize that Russia remains committed to the statement that the leaders of the five nuclear powers made on January 3, confirming that nuclear war is unacceptable."
He added that Russia does not accept the West's threats over the potential use of nuclear weapons, but that arguing the matter is pointless. "As for the strong statements about some consequences for Russia, we certainly don’t accept the language of threats. We leave it to the conscience of the Western politicians that make such statements. We have no plans to debate with them on the issue because it’s clearly pointless," Lavrov stressed.