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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the UN General Assembly the other day. Following are some excerpts, as reported by RT (Russia Today) and the UN. He is not kind to the U.S., which certainly doesn’t bode well for relations between our two countries.
It’s crucial to avoid the collapse of the U.S.-Russian agreements on Syria, meaning a fair and impartial investigation of the Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor incidents is needed, Lavrov said.
“The main thing now is to prevent the collapse of those arrangements, objectively and impartially investigate the undermining incidents in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo, particularly, as there are many who want to sabotage the agreed approaches to the Syrian settlement,” Lavrov said.
Deir ez-Zor was the site of the U.S.-led coalition accidental airstrike on Syrian government troops that killed about 80, while a few days later a UN humanitarian convoy was attacked in Aleppo, the U.S. accusing Russia of that one.
Lavrov stressed that “it’s essential to fulfill the UN Security Council [UNSC] demand to dissociate the so-called moderate opposition from the terrorists. Here, special responsibility rests with the U.S. and the members of their coalition.”
“Their refusal or inability to do this in the present circumstances can’t but strengthen the suspicion that it’s being attempted to remove Jabhat al-Nusra out of harm’s way and that the plans for a regime change are still on the table,” he said, adding that it would be a “grave violation” of the UNSC resolution.
Lavrov reiterated that “resolving the crisis in Syria will be impossible without the suppression of Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, which joined them. It’s the key to strengthening the cessation of hostilities and achieving a nationwide ceasefire.”
“Open sabotage of the political process by some representatives of the opposition abroad, which occurs as their patrons turn a blind eye, has a negative impact on the reputation of the UN and, again, suggests that the reason here is rooted in the desire to create a pretext for attempted regime change,” he said.
Lessons must be learned from previous crises to “prevent Syria from slipping into catastrophe,” Lavrov said.
“The arrogance and self-righteousness in pushing through unilateral, adventurous solutions to complex conflicts is visible in the examples of the bleeding regions of the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.
Such an approach leads to the “destruction of the foundations of global stability,” the FM warned.
“Largely due to Russian military assistance, provided to the legitimate Syrian government in response to its request, it was possible to prevent the collapse of the country under pressure from terrorists,” he added.
The ceasefire in Syria was agreed on during talks on September 9 between Moscow and Washington. Both sides agreed to influence the Syrian government and the so-called moderate rebel forces respectively in order to help bring an end to hostilities.
Since then, Moscow has repeatedly complained that Washington is failing to keep to its side of the bargain.
The U.S. has blamed Russia for not pressuring Damascus enough to facilitate humanitarian access to Syria.
But the ceasefire was put at risk by the bombing of Syrian government forces by U.S.-led coalition warplanes in Deir ez-Zor on Sept. 17.
The deal then suffered another blow after a UN-humanitarian aid convoy was attacked in Aleppo, killing 21, with the U.S. and Russia trading accusations over the incident.
Following is a separate summary of Lavrov’s remarks, as provided by the United Nations:
Lavrov said that the U.S.-led Western alliance that portrayed itself as a champion of democracy in fact acted from the direct opposite position and rejected the democratic principle of sovereign equality of States. That alliance was trying to decide for everyone what was good and what was evil. The United States had openly declared what it believed to be its right to unilateral use of force anywhere to uphold its own interests. Military interference had become the norm.
The sustainability of the international system had been severely shaken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) bombardment of the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, intervention in Iraq, attacks against Libya and the failure of operations in Afghanistan, he said. It was only due to diplomatic efforts that the aggression against Syria was prevented in 2013. There was an impression that the goal of various “color revolutions” and other projects to change unsuitable regimes was to provoke chaos and instability. Today, Ukraine had fallen victim to such an arrogant policy. The situation there had revealed the remaining deep-rooted systemic flaws of the existing architecture in the Euro-Atlantic area. The West had embarked upon the course towards “vertical structuring of humanity,” tailored to its own “hardly inoffensive” standards.
The United States and the European Union supported the coup d’etat in Ukraine and reverted to outright justification of any acts by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities, he said. Those authorities had opted for suppression by force of the Ukrainian people, who had rejected attempts to impose an unconstitutional way of life on the entire country, and who wanted to defend their rights to their native language and culture. It was precisely that aggressive assault on those rights that propelled the population of Crimea to take destiny into its own hands and make a choice in favor of self-determination. Attempts to distort the truth and to hide the facts behind “blanket accusations” had been undertaken at all stages of the Ukrainian crisis. The Russian Federation was sincerely interested in restoring peace in “the neighboring country.” The ceasefire agreement signed by Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin had created an opening to resolve the situation.
As a condition for establishing diplomatic relations with the then-Soviet Union in 1933, the United States Government had demanded that Moscow guarantee non-interference in the United States’ domestic affairs and not take any actions aimed at changing the United States’ political or social order, he said. At that time, Washington, D.C., feared a “revolutionary virus,” and the guarantees it sought were put on record, on the basis of reciprocity. Perhaps, it now made sense to return to that topic and reproduce that demand of the United States Government on a universal scale. The policy of ultimatums and the philosophy of supremacy and domination did not meet the requirements of the twenty-first century, and ran counter to the objective process of development of a polycentric, democratic world order.
After commenting on various conflicts throughout the world, Lavrov noted that the United Nations had been established on the ruins of the Second World War, and was entering the year of its seventieth anniversary. Everyone in the international community was obligated to celebrate in an appropriate manner and pay tribute to all who had died for freedom and the right of people to determine their own destiny.
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