No to ‘Star Wars Style’: Ultimatums & raising stakes won’t solve international crises, says Lavrov

No to ‘Star Wars Style’: Ultimatums & raising stakes won’t solve international crises, says Lavrov
Global issues such as the denuclearization of North Korea, the Iran nuclear deal or the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, can’t be solved by ultimatums in the style of ‘Star Wars,’ says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“Over and over again we come to realize that ultimatums and pressure, exerted externally, including by coercion, are inevitably doomed to failure, the attempts to raise stakes in the manner of westerns and Star Wars [saga] are doomed,” Lavrov said, speaking at the Primakov Readings international think-tank summit in Moscow on Wednesday. 

The policy of ultimatums may be helpful while doing business, but “escalation for the sake of de-escalation poses significant risks” in global politics, according to the foreign minister. The long-term settlement of the most acute modern international crises can be achieved only via “painstaking work on the basis of multilateral approaches and international law, involving all participants, especially the sides of a conflict,” Lavrov stressed.

Russia also hopes that the planned summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un won’t result in ultimatums. The meeting has been the subject of a fierce back-and-forth for weeks now. Last week Trump briefly called it off but later made a U-turn, saying that the summit was back on the cards. 

"We are supporting the ongoing changes in the relations between the two Koreas, in the relations between Pyongyang and Washington. And we hope that these talks … will not result in an ultimatum," Lavrov stressed. The minister is expected to pay an official visit to North Korea on Thursday. 

Speaking about the Iran nuclear deal, Lavrov also noted that Washington is currently trying to isolate Iran in order to “strangle” it and force it to change its policies. Russia doesn’t agree with assessments that rely on the fact that Iran is “the root of all problems in the region,” he stated. 

By withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as Iranian nuclear deal, the US expected to trigger “a total confrontation” with Tehran, Lavrov said.

Washington pulled out of a milestone 2015 deal earlier in May. This was despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the deal on numerous occasions, as well as attempts of world powers, including France and Germany, to talk US President Donald Trump out of the decision. 

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