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Friday, May 24, 2024

Moscow won’t beg ‘Uncle Sam’ for forgiveness – Lavrov

Bilateral ties were wrecked by those who invented the “Russian threat,” the foreign minister has said

Moscow bears no responsibility for US-Russia relations reaching an all-time low, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, insisting that the burden of restoring them lies solely with Washington.

Relations between the US and Russia went into a tailspin after the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, with Moscow condemning Washington and other Western countries for introducing unprecedented sanctions and sending weapons to Kiev. The Kremlin argues the deliveries will only prolong the conflict but not change its outcome.

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Another major issue in bilateral relations has been NATO’s creeping expansion toward Russia’s borders, which Moscow views as an existential threat. Russia has said that Ukraine’s desire to join the US-led military bloc was one of the main reasons for the current conflict.

In an interview with CBS News on Monday, when asked about the potential for improving relations between Moscow and Washington amid the stand-off over Ukraine, Lavrov stressed that Russia would not take the initiative to repair them because it was not his country that spoiled them in the first place.

The minister stressed that the ties between the two powers were shattered by “those who invented the Russian threat” and “those who ignored huge amount of goodwill shown by President Vladimir Putin during his first two terms.” According to Lavrov, Western policymakers decided that the Russian leader was “so nice,” and tried to “keep him in [their] pocket,” which was a mistake.

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Lavrov went on to regret that the current generation of politicians in Washington had seemingly drawn no lessons from what he described as “unacceptable policies which the United States started to promote” in the early 1990s.

The minister’s comments come after Putin admitted last month that he was a “naive” person early in his political career because he believed that there was no fundamental reason for Russia and the West to be at odds after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, he said that he later realized that Western countries were seeking to bring about the partition of Russia into several entities in order to gain more global influence.