A week before the first anniversary of the invasion launched by Moscow to once again dominate Ukraine as in the times of the USSR, the Russian Foreign Minister proclaimed Wednesday that Russia wants to end what he calls the Western “monopoly” on “global affairs.”
Serguei Lavrov assured that the future must be decided not according to “selfish interests” but in a fair “universal balance”, where Moscow has much to say.
Lavrov denounced that the West is trying to contain Russia and wants to set it “back decades”.
Russian state media reported last week that President Vladimir Putin is set to approve a new foreign policy.
And it looks like it will be tougher on the West now that relations are all but broken.
Russia is sanctioned as never before, blocked on the banking and trade side, and isolated on the transport side.
It has also lost access to Europe’s energy market, once its best customer.
For years Europe has been cautious not to put Russia in a position where it would have almost nothing left to lose on the continent, and that is the Russia of 2023.
“In recent years, the course of Washington and its European satellites has reached a point of no return,” Lavrov lamented in his appearance before the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.
However, he recalled Russia “never had allies in the West.”
“We were prepared for this when the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact disappeared. [But] we proposed to unite and make the OSCE a truly collective Euro-Atlantic security structure. It didn’t work,” the Russian Foreign Minister reviewed.
As an alternative to the Western axis, Lavrov puts forward the Russian-Chinese alliance.
“Together with our Chinese friends, we are working to strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership, which has reached an unprecedented high level in history.”
Lavrov boasted that Russia has stronger ties with Brazil, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and other friendly states on all continents, including Latin America.
BLOW TO TOURISM
In reality, Lavrov slammed a door already closed because even negotiations on Ukraine, the current main geopolitical problem, are in the drawer.
Russia saw tourist inflows fall by more than 96% last year following the invasion of Ukraine and the international sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Before the representatives, many of whom have lost their European vacation paradise, Lavrov said that “the decision to stop direct flights” to Russia is blamed for all this.
Moscow is seeking a substitute for the Western tourist and plans to introduce visa-free travel for citizens of up to 11 states and ease entry requirements for those from six others, including India and Indonesia.
The Kremlin has often accused Western countries, led by the “Anglo-Saxon” United States and United Kingdom, of trying to dominate world politics and meddle in each other’s affairs while trying to suppress emerging powers in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Last week Lavrov returned to Moscow from a tour of several African countries to strengthen Russian positions on the continent, including military ones, where Wagner’s mercenaries are his advance guard.
French media harshly criticized the trip.
Lavrov denounced that France considers Africa as its “backyard” and, at the same time, allows itself to accuse Moscow of pursuing a neo-colonialist policy on that continent.
Lavrov’s African adventure led him to enter even the Saharawi conflict last week, taking advantage of the change in Spain’s position.
Lavrov regretted that the Group of Friends of Western Sahara (of which Spain is a member) has put its activity on “pause” and recommended “breaking the deadlock” in the negotiations on the Western Sahara conflict and pushing for a settlement based on UN Security Council resolutions.
For Moscow, it is not only the Western countries that are contaminated by the US but also the multilateral institutions.
That is why it will review its obligations to international organizations.
In fact, it has decided to withhold payments in those cases where it believes Russia’s rights are violated.
An announced slamming of the door will be in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in whose convention, according to the minister, “illegitimate mechanisms” have been introduced.
Due to Ukraine’s invasion, Russia left the Council of Europe in March 2022, just before it was kicked out.
Last month the Russian president referred to the Duma a bill on the cessation of compliance with 21 agreements between Russia and the Council of Europe.
With information from El Mundo