Moscow waiting for Western leaders ‘to sober up’ – Lavrov
Moscow will determine how its future relations with Western nations will develop only after they come to their senses, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
Speaking at the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, which provides support to Russian and foreign NGOs and think tanks, Lavrov accused the US and its allies of being “mired in cave Russophobia, while sacrificing the glaring problems in their own societies.”
“When and if they sober up, we will decide on our position regarding further relations with them. But we will make this decision, of course, on our own and based on our terms,” the foreign minister added.
Lavrov went on to point out that, despite the ongoing “dirty campaign to cancel everything linked to Russia,” it still had a lot of friends worldwide – including in the West – who like Russian culture and share the traditional family values it promotes.
At the same time, the minister warned that Russia would give a harsh response to all hostile actions. He claimed that Western countries wanted to stir unrest in Russia and undermine its stability. “They have found very capable agents of their will in the current Nazi regime in Ukraine, whose roots were laid a long time ago,” Lavrov said.
Against this backdrop, the top diplomat reiterated that Russia was fighting to protect not only the Russian-speaking population in the new territories that chose to join the country in public referendums last autumn, but also its own statehood.
Russia has repeatedly warned the West against supporting Ukraine, arguing that such policies make it a direct participant in the conflict. While Moscow maintains it is open to talks with Kiev, on Saturday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that the US “had maniacally set itself up for not allowing Ukrainians to even think about” a potential peaceful settlement of the conflict.