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18 Jan, 2023 09:37

No ‘serious proposition’ on Ukraine from West – Lavrov

Kiev is not free to decide on its policy so it makes no sense talking to the Ukrainian government, Moscow believes
No ‘serious proposition’ on Ukraine from West – Lavrov

Ukraine’s foreign policy is dictated by Western nations who have yet to make any “serious” proposals to Russia on how the conflict could be resolved, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. If one is formulated, Moscow will take it into consideration, he promised.

“We will be ready to react to any serious proposal. We have not seen any serious proposals so far. But we will be ready to consider them and take a stance,” he said.

Russia was willing to support a draft truce proposed by Ukraine in late March, Lavrov reminded a press conference on Wednesday. But, he added, Western nations “yanked Kiev’s chain and said ‘too early’.”

Western officials have repeatedly claimed that arming Ukraine would help it achieve a better negotiation position and that no talks with Russia should take place before this happens.

The so-called “peace formula” promoted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is a “ridiculous” idea that “heaps everything together,” from food security to a tribunal for Russia, Lavrov remarked.

“There can be no negotiation with Zelensky, if only because he legally banned any talks with the Russian government,” the Russian minister pointed out.

Lavrov dismissed as “nonsense” the notion that other nations must not say “a word about Ukraine without Ukraine.” In reality, “the West decides for Ukraine” what its foreign policy should be, he concluded.

But even during sporadic behind-closed-doors contacts – such as the November meeting between CIA Director William Burns and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin – Americans don’t say anything substantively different from their public position, according to the top Russian diplomat.

A genuine resolution would require settling issues that go beyond Ukraine, Lavrov asserted. The West is using Ukraine “to destroy the security system that existed in the Euro-Atlantic for many years,” he said. Moscow's concerns arising from this have to be addressed in good faith to settle the crisis, the top Russian diplomat stated.