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US has meddled in Ukraine since fall of Soviet Union: Lavrov

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a high-level Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine, Sept. 20, 2023, at United Nations headquarters in New York. (AP photo)

Russia has accused the United States and other Western powers of meddling in Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union to force pro-Western policies in Kiev.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks on Wednesday at a UN Security Council session, held at the request of Albania.

In his speech delivered facing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Lavrov accused the West of stirring internal strife in Ukraine over many years, arming Kiev and pushing it toward war with Russia.

"The principle of non-interference in internal affairs has been trampled multiple times," he stated.

Meanwhile, Lavrov defended Russia’s veto power as his country's use of its veto power at the Security Council as a "legitimate tool" of international relations.

"The use of veto is an absolutely legitimate tool laid out in the (UN) Charter with the aim of preventing decisions that could lead to the organization's breakup," he said.

Lavrov made the statement shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the United Nations to strip Russia of its Security Council veto power, calling it a legal reform.

The Russian foreign minister accused Ukraine of violating the UN charter by oppressing the Russian-speaking population in eastern areas.

Lavrov said that Russia was open to negotiating a way out of the Ukraine crisis and accused Zelensky of refusing to talk.

"When it comes to negotiations, we are not refusing to negotiate," Lavrov said. "But I would like to remind the esteemed secretary of state that President Zelensky has signed a decree forbidding negotiations with Putin's government."

"If the United States is so interested in them, I think it wouldn't be very difficult to give a command for Zelensky to lift the decree," Lavrov added.

Lavrov blamed the West's refusal to engage with Russia on equal terms over many years has led to the current crisis in Ukraine.

"The United States and its allies don't want to conduct any kind of equal dialogue with anyone," Lavrov said.

"The West rejects on the genetic level any kind of cooperation on equal terms," he said.

The US and its allies began pouring weapons and ammunition into Ukraine shortly after Russia launched its military operation in the country in February 2022.

Russia has time and again warned that the continued supply of Western arms and munitions to the Ukrainian military would only prolong the war, add to losses, and exacerbate the sufferings of the Ukrainian nation.

The White House recently confirmed that the administration of US President Joe Biden has so far spent more than $100 billion on the war in Ukraine despite repeated warnings from Moscow.

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