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31 Jan, 2024 13:09

West ignoring BRICS’ Ukraine peace proposals – Lavrov

The US and its allies have shown “complete disrespect” to the opinions of the group’s members, the Russian foreign minister has said
West ignoring BRICS’ Ukraine peace proposals – Lavrov

Kiev's western backers are not even discussing initiatives by China, Brazil and South Africa on settling the Ukraine conflict during numerous meetings on President Vladimir Zelensky’s so-called peace formula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

The latest talks were held during the World Economic Forum in Davos two weeks ago and attended by 83 nations, including BRICS members India, Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. China took part in earlier meetings on the Ukrainian proposal, but declined to participate this time.

During the BRICS sherpa and sous-sherpa meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, Lavrov said he recently “had conversations with colleagues from a number of friendly states, including about the role that the Global South has been playing during those meetings.”

The Russian minister recalled that a number of alternative peace plans had previously been put forward: a Chinese initiative to settle the conflict between Moscow and Kiev that “puts the emphasis on the need to eradicate the reasons for the current situation in Europe”; a proposal by South Africa and other nations on the continent discussed at the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg last summer; and a plan put forward by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

”I asked those who participated in this meeting in Davos how much attention had been paid to those initiatives by the ‘world majority,’ and they told me: ‘No attention at all was paid to them. These initiatives aren’t needed’,” Lavrov said.

The minister expressed the view that the approach by the US and its allies reveals their “complete disrespect and total disregard of any opinion, except their own.” Meetings like the one in Davos pursue only “one goal – to establish the ‘peace formula’ as having no alternatives,” he stressed.

Zelensky’s plan for ending the conflict, which he has been promoting since 2022, calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev, for Moscow to pay reparations, and for the formation of a war-crimes tribunal.

Russian authorities have rejected the proposal as “unrealistic,” characterizing it as a sign of Ukraine’s unwillingness to look for a diplomatic solution. Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is ready for negotiations, but stressed that it will continue its military campaign in the absence of what it considers reasonable offers from Ukraine and its foreign backers.

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