MOSCOW — Russia’s overseas minister on Thursday accused the West of changing into instantly concerned within the battle in Ukraine by supplying it with weapons and coaching its troopers.
Sergey Lavrov additionally mentioned that Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian power services and different key infrastructure which have left thousands and thousands with out energy, heating and water had been meant to weaken Ukraine’s navy potential and derail the shipments of Western weapons.
“You should not say that the U.S. and NATO aren’t collaborating on this struggle, you might be instantly collaborating in it,” Lavrov mentioned in a video name with reporters. “And never simply by offering weapons but in addition by coaching personnel. You might be coaching their navy in your territory, on the territories of Britain, Germany, Italy and different nations.”
He mentioned that the barrage of Russian missile strikes was meant to “knock out power services that help you maintain pumping lethal weapons into Ukraine with a view to kill the Russians.”
“The infrastructure that’s focused by these assaults is used to make sure the fight potential of the Ukrainian armed forces and the nationalist battalions,” Lavrov mentioned.
Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of focusing on key civilian infrastructure with a view to cut back morale and power Ukraine into peace talks on Moscow’s circumstances.
Lavrov insisted that Moscow stays open for talks on ending the battle. “We by no means requested for talks however all the time mentioned that we’re able to hearken to those that are considering a negotiated settlement,” Lavrov mentioned.
The Kremlin has urged Ukraine to acknowledge Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, as a part of Russia and acknowledge different land features that Russia has made since sending its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. It additionally has continued to push for ensures that Ukraine would not be a part of NATO, together with vaguely formulated “demilitarization” and “denazification” targets.
Requested if a gathering between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden is feasible, Lavrov responded that “we don’t shun contacts” however added that “we haven’t but heard any critical concepts but.”
Lavrov mentioned that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has raised the difficulty of U.S. residents imprisoned in Russia in a telephone name, however famous that Putin and Biden agreed to arrange a separate channel of communication between particular providers to debate the difficulty after they met in Geneva in June 2021.
“It’s working and I hope that some outcomes will likely be achieved,” he added.
The Biden administration has been attempting for months to barter the discharge of WNBA star Brittney Griner and one other American jailed in Russia, Michigan company safety govt Paul Whelan, together with by means of a attainable prisoner swap with Moscow.
Commenting on Russia’s choice to postpone a spherical of nuclear arms management talks with the USA that was scheduled for this week, Lavrov argued that “it’s not possible to debate strategic stability these days whereas ignoring every thing that’s occurring in Ukraine.”
“The purpose has been introduced to defeat Russia on the battlefield and even destroy Russia,” he mentioned. “How can the purpose of defeating Russia not bear significance for strategic stability, contemplating that they need to destroy a key strategic stability actor?”
In the course of the on-line information convention that lasted for 2½ hours, Lavrov ranted towards the U.S. and its NATO allies, accusing them of trampling on worldwide regulation whereas attempting to isolate and destroy Russia.
He claimed that the U.S. has tried to discourage different nations, together with India, from sustaining shut ties with Russia, however these makes an attempt have failed.