Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has censured the West for its “grotesque” fear of Russia, saying Westerners are seeking to “destroy and fracture” his country.
“The official Russophobia in the West is unprecedented, now the scope is grotesque,” Lavrov said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Saturday.
“They are not shying away from declaring the intent to inflict not only military defeat on our country but also to destroy and fracture Russia.”
The United States, Lavrov said, was expanding the Monroe Doctrine – its 19th-century declaration of Latin America as its exclusive sphere of influence – and “trying to turn the entire world into its own backyard.”
“Declaring themselves victorious in the Cold War, Washington erected themselves almost into an envoy of God on Earth, without any obligations but the sacred right to act with impunity wherever and wherever they want,” the Russian diplomat said.
Lavrov said on Thursday that Washington and its European allies are trying to prolong fighting in Ukraine in order to weaken Russia.
The countries in question are “pumping Ukraine full of weapons, [and] training their soldiers,” the Russian diplomat told the UN Security Council on Thursday. They are doing so to “drag out the fighting as long as possible in spite of the victims in order to wear down and weaken Russia.”
Russia launched the military campaign in Ukraine on February 24, saying it was aimed at “demilitarizing” the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Ever since, the US has provided Ukraine with around $15.8 billion in military aid.
In the past two months, the Pentagon has announced two military packages for Kiev worth $550 million and $1 billion. They include HIMARS ammunition, artillery ammunition, Javelin missiles, and other anti-armor weapons.
Moscow has been fiercely critical of weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its Western allies, warning it will only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.
Referendum in eastern Ukraine
Lavrov also defended a referendum in Ukraine’s eastern areas, asking residents if they want to join the Russian Federation. He said people in those areas are claiming land “where their ancestors have been living for hundreds of years.”
“The West is now throwing a fit” on the referendum, he said.
The United States and its Western allies have threatened to impose additional sanctions on Russia. President Joe Biden has labeled the voting “a sham – a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law.”