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29 Mar, 2024 07:58

Ukraine is ‘tip of the iceberg’ – Lavrov

The conflict is just one facet of the West’s campaign to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia, the Foreign Minister has said
Ukraine is ‘tip of the iceberg’ – Lavrov

The Ukraine conflict is only one part of a wider stand-off between Russia and the West, which seeks to contain Moscow at all costs, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

In an interview with Izvestia published on Friday, Lavrov stated that after the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, the new Ukrainian authorities unleashed “a war… against their own people” in Donbass.

The hostilities, the minister said, were only stopped by the now-defunct Minsk agreements, which were designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.

The ensuing governments of both ex-Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky cracked down on the Russian language and culture, introducing stringent restrictions targeting its use in all aspects of life, according to Lavrov.

Moscow repeatedly urged Kiev’s backers in the West to condemn and halt the discriminatory policies, which also violate Ukraine’s constitution, but “not one of the Western countries that are now shielding Ukraine from all accusations has ever publicly condemned these absolutely illegal actions,” he insisted.

“The only explanation is that Ukraine is the tip of the iceberg. And that the declared goal of the West is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.”

Lavrov added that in practice this implies that those who do the West’s bidding when it comes to this mission, “are allowed to do anything, including direct support for… Nazism. It is sad”.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukraine conflict could have been easily avoided if the West had taken Moscow’s security interests into account. However, those interests “were completely ignored” as NATO moved closer to Russia’s borders by incorporating Eastern European states and former Soviet republics, Putin added.

The Russian president has also repeatedly said that the main goals of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine are to “denazify” and “demilitarize” the neighboring state, as well as protecting the population of Donbass from Kiev’s attacks. The two Donbass republics, along with two other former Ukrainian regions, overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in the autumn of 2022.

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