Russia calls on US to take its nukes home
Moscow has claimed that the US is undermining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons by placing its missiles in Europe and conducting drills on the continent involving the weapons of mass destruction.
Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council via video link on Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, stressed that it was “time to bring US nukes home,” adding that his country has always maintained that should a nuclear war break out, “there would be no winners.”
Russia’s top diplomat also expressed concern over the US, UK and Australia creating the AUKUS military alliance in September 2021. He warned that the establishment of this new entity could provoke tensions in the Asia-Pacific Region and further afield
Speaking of the current US administration, Lavrov noted that, much to Moscow’s disappointment, Joe Biden has done little to change Donald Trump’s cavalier approach to arms non-proliferation.
The Russian official also touched on the Iran Nuclear deal, expressing cautious optimism that talks between the parties involved would eventually resuscitate the agreement, to which, according to Lavrov, “there is no alternative.” Moreover, Moscow insists that attempts to put pressure or blackmail Iran have “no chance of succeeding.”
Lavrov went on to criticize the current “state of affairs at the OPCW,” which, according to him, has been politicized and subjugated to Western countries which have “effectively privatized this international organization.”
Unsurprisingly, the situation in Ukraine and the West’s reaction to Russia’s military offensive there were also among the big topics in Lavrov’s address to the UN Human Rights Council, prompting representatives of Western countries and their allies to walk out during his speech.
Russia’s top diplomat slammed the Western sanctions against Russia as “outrages,” saying that it was precisely because of the restrictions imposed by the EU that he could not attend the meeting in person. Lavrov claimed that the sanctions prove that “EU member states are afraid of an open, honest dialogue face to face.” He also lamented the worsening security situation in the world, blaming it on the US and its allies’ attempts to “aggressively impose their own world order” on others.
Lavrov went on to accuse the West of turning a blind eye to what he described as “systematic human rights violations” in Ukraine since 2014, which predominantly targeted ethnic minorities and political opposition. According to the Russian official, Ukrainian government forces launched a military offensive in 2014, targeting the Russian-speaking population in the Donbass for refusing to renounce their own language and identity. Lavrov went so far as to call Kiev’s actions a “genocide,” insisting that Russia has collected enough evidence to prove that atrocities against civilians have taken place in eastern Ukraine.
On top of that, Russia’s Foreign Minister claimed that far-right groups and militias have permeated the Ukrainian government and security forces alike.
All these factors combined forced Moscow to take decisive measures to defend the millions of Russian-speaking people living in the newly recognized Donbass republics, Lavrov explained.
According to Lavrov, the West had given Ukrainian authorities carte blanche in terms of human rights violations in exchange for total servitude to Western interests. Moscow suspects Washington’s endgame was to turn Ukraine into an “anti-Russia,” with the latter becoming Kiev’s one and only purpose, Lavrov claimed.
Responding to accusations that Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russia’s top diplomat cited the 1970 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625, The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States, which, according to Lavrov “clearly states that the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity can only be applied to countries that respect the right of people to self-determination, and where a government represents all the people living in the country regardless of their religion, ethnicity or language.”