MOSCOW ( Associated Press) — Russia’s top diplomat said Wednesday that Russia will achieve its goals in Ukraine despite the West’s “hybrid war” against Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the goals of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine were “determined by Russia’s basic legitimate interests” and would be achieved.
“There will be no military infrastructure in Ukraine that poses a direct threat to our country,” Lavrov said. Moscow also wants to ensure that the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are protected.
Russian President Vladimir Putin explained his decision to send troops into Ukraine on 24 February to the need to “demilitarize” and “militarize” Ukraine to prevent the neighboring country from joining NATO and to protect Russophones living in the country. Held responsible. Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected the claims, which they describe as an excuse for an unprovoked act of aggression.
Speaking at a lengthy press conference, Lavrov rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s demand for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine entirely. The minister also rejected Ukraine’s insistence that Moscow pay compensation for war damage and prosecute war criminals as a basis for further talks, saying “there can be no talks with Zelensky”. “
Lavrov claimed that “the West makes all the decisions for Ukraine” with the aim of using the conflict to tire Russia. NATO members have provided considerable military assistance to Ukraine.
“The amount of Western support clearly shows that the West has invested heavily in this war against Russia,” he said. “It is the West that makes decisions. And they have made decisions for Ukraine and without Ukraine as well.”
Lavrov stressed that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are “our response to the hybrid war being waged against us by the West”.
Russia, he said, is ready to “seriously consider” any Western initiative to end the conflict, although “we have not yet seen any serious proposals.”
He said that any Russian talks with Western proxies should not be limited to Ukraine.
“There is no point in talking to the West only about Ukraine,” he said. “The West uses Ukraine to destroy the security order that has long existed in the Euro-Atlantic region and which relies on consensus, the indivisibility of security, and the resolution of all issues through dialogue and cooperation.”
The minister warned that the confrontation between Russia and the West over Ukraine is part of a global policy shift that will develop over a long period of time.
“The process of formation of a multipolar world order will be a long one, it will take an era,” he said. “And now we’re in the middle of that process.”
Lavrov cited Western efforts to undermine the growing cooperation between Russia and China, saying they will not succeed.
Moscow’s relations with the West, he said, “will never be the same.” He accused the West of breaking agreements with Russia.
“Never again will there be a situation where you lie, sign documents and then refuse to comply,” he said.