Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said that Moscow has never engaged in playing one country against another but it is “being tried by some other outside players” in the context of so-called Indo- Pacific strategy.
“We never engage in playing any country against any other country but this is, unfortunately, being tried by some other outside players in the context of so-called Indo- Pacific strategy, using Quad, not for economical purpose but trying to militarise it,” Lavrov said.
It is pertinent to mention that the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as the Quad, is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
“The idea promoted by our American friends of ASEAN plus Quad is openly aimed at ruining East Asia Summits. In other words it means East Asia Summits minus China and Russia,” Lavrov said in a discussion with Observer Research Foundation.
Talking about Russia’s relations with India and China, Lavrov said that he had good relations with both countries. He further stated that the relations with India are characterized in offical documents signed by the two leaders as a “specially privileged strategic partnership” which is the only status that was given to any other on paper.
“We are interested in these two (India-China) great nations to be friends. It was the initiative of my predecessor to create trioka of Russia, China and India which culminated in the BRICS formation. My feeling is that the more they meet, the better,” Lavrov added.
Talking about the negotiation with Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Minister said, “Everyone’s asking when Russia is ready to negotiate. Nobody asks Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when he’s going to negotiate. Last year, Zelenskyy signed a document making it a criminal offence to negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is present. Can you ask him what he’s doing?”
Lavrov also talked about NATO and the war. He said that Ukraine had said earlier that they will not expand NATO but then they changed their words.
“Ukraine legally cancelled the MINSK agreement, which is a series of agreements sought to end the Donbas war fought between armed Russian separatist groups and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that has to do with the Russian language. And when the people who did not accept the coup in the east of Ukraine and in Crimea said, guys, leave us alone, we are not going to follow your policies,” Lavrov said.
“And it is the regime that started the war against these people. That’s why the Minsk agreements were considered the way to stop this. And it was not very difficult to implement the Minsk agreements. It was about the special status of a small part of the east of Ukraine, much smaller than the territory which is controlled by the Russian army now, much smaller. But they didn’t want to do this because the special status to be given to this small territory included the right to use the Russian language. And this in itself was considered a taboo by the Narcist, who took the power in Ukraine through a coup,” he added.
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