Russian FM Lavrov criticizes G20 focus on Ukraine, says nobody ''gave a damn'' about Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan in previous deliberations

Alwasat - Cairo Fri 03 Mar 2023, 09:03 PM
alwasat radio

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday hit out at western nations, accusing them of raking up the Ukraine conflict during G20 meetings and claiming that nobody ''gave a damn'' over the situation in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia in previous deliberations of the group.

Participating in the Raisina Dialogue while in New Delhi, a combative Lavrov also wondered why everyone was asking Russia whether it was ready to negotiate to end the war when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had signed a decree making negotiations with Moscow under President Vladimir Putin a ''criminal offense''.

Lavrov said US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have publicly stated that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield.

''They say Russia must suffer a strategic defeat and this they say is existentialist for the west in the context of global domination. This is a blunt admission,'' he said.

Referring to the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Thursday, the Russian minister said the western leaders had raised the Ukraine issue, but wondered whether previous declarations of the grouping ever discussed the situation in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan or Yugoslavia.

''Nobody was giving a damn about anything but finances and macroeconomic policies which the G20 was formed for... but Russia started to defend itself, there is nothing except Ukraine that is of interest to the G20,'' he said.

''It is a shame. If they say it is existentialist for them, it is existentialist for us,'' he said, adding that Moscow had been warning the West for decades against the expansion of NATO and pushing arms into Ukraine to prepare them for war against Russia.

''They do not remember when Serbia was bombed. Joe Biden, a senator at that time, bragged that he promoted that approach. When Iraq was ruined as a state, a few years later Tony Blair said it was a mistake. You think the United States has the right to declare a threat just like they did to other countries, but no one questions it for that,'' the minister added.

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