Russia tops ISIS threat, Ebola worst of all? Lavrov puzzled by Obama’s UN speech
Gathered at the UN headquarters in New York, the world leaders attending the 69th General Assembly heard Barack Obama highlighting the three most significant global threats today.
“As we gather here, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa, and threatens to move rapidly across borders. Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition. The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness,” the US leader said at the beginning of his statement.
Reacting to the speech, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke with astonishment.
“We earned the second place among the threats to international peace and stability,” Lavrov told journalists on the sidelines of the UN assembly.
Not only the ranking of international threats seemed bizarre to Lavrov, especially in the light of the current strikes in Iraq and Syria that bypassed the UN mandate, but also Obama’s certainty that the world has become “freer and safer.”
“I didn't understand whether he was serious or not and whether there was an Orwellian element in it. Because George Orwell invented the Ministry of Truth and it looks like this philosophy is lingering."
The Russian foreign minister assessed Obama’s words at the session as a “speech of a peacemaker – the way it was conceived” which he “failed to deliver if one compares it to real facts”.
The US President presented a US worldview stressing the exceptionality of himself and of his country, the Russian FM said:
“That's the worldview of a country that has spelt out its right to use force arbitrarily regardless of UN Security Council's resolutions or other international legal acts in its national defense doctrine.”
Regarding the sanctions, Lavrov lashed out that it was only the problem of the US which imposed them. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian conflict is a domestic problem that should be solved without US interference, he added.
“Ukrainians met in Minsk several times and signed two documents there. OSCE and Russian officials helped to foster this dialogue. It's all written in the protocol and the memorandum and they must be implemented,” he said. “This is what the Ukrainians themselves have agreed to, and it would be incorrect to dictate any of the implementation parameters to them.”
Moscow seeks to settle conflicts through equal dialogue and not through unilateral accusations, not by “shifting the blame,” Lavrov said adding that he will definitely point this out to US Secretary John Kerry in a meeting between the two later in the day.