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Lavrov Observes Russia-Bashing Started under Obama

Sept. 18, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave a long interview to Sputnik, meeting online with three Sputnik journalists at MIA Rossiya Segodnya Press Center, in which they discussed many issues. On the anti-Russia campaign in the U.S. Lavrov said it has been replaced by the China, China, China campaign, but interestingly observed that originally

“It did not start with the current administration, but during Barack Obama’s presidency. It was he who said, including in public that the Russian leadership was intentionally seeking to damage relations between Moscow and Washington. He also said that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections. He also used this as a pretext for imposing sanctions that were totally unprecedented, including seizing Russian property in the United States in what amounted to a hostile takeover, and expelling dozens of Russian diplomats together with their families, and many other actions.”

Again, talking about “unlawful sanctions,” Lavrov remarked that they had started under Obama: “Unfortunately, this ‘instinct’ for sanctions in the current administration (although Barack Obama was also active on this front) is spilling over into the European continent with the European Union using the sanctions “stick” more and more.”

On the Navalny case, Lavrov said among other things that the German government and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are playing ping-pong with Russia. When Moscow asks Berlin about the evidence, Berlin says ask the OPCW. If Moscow asks the OPCW, it replies to ask Berlin.

On the Caesar Act, Lavrov said:

“Just yesterday in New York, the UN Security Council discussed the development of the humanitarian situation in Syria, and our Western colleagues were rather very vigorously and dramatically proving their innocence, saying the sanctions were exclusively aimed at limiting the actions and capabilities of officials and representatives of the regime, as they said, while ordinary citizens weren’t affected, because the sanction decisions provided for humanitarian exceptions for medicine, food and other essential items. That is not true, because no such products from the countries that announced some alleged sanction exemptions have been delivered to Syria, except some very small batches [of goods]. Syria trades with Russia, Iran, China, and some Arab states; but the number of countries that understand the need to overcome the current abnormal situation and restore relations with Syria is growing. More and more countries, including the Gulf states, are deciding to reopen their embassies in Syria; more and more countries realize that going on with these suffocating sanctions is totally unacceptable from a human rights perspective.”

Lavrov also addressed the Libyan crisis, regretting that Western countries did not follow Russian advice to not back any contenders there, but to hold dialogue with all factions. Finally, the Berlin conference on Jan. 19, 2020 adopted a good draft, but it failed again to consult the parties, thinking that they could just impose the roadmap approved by the international community. Subsequent events showed that that was a mistake.

Now, Lavrov said, a promising process has started, with both factions agreeing on a roadmap, but it is necessary that the UN should appoint a special envoy for the Libya crisis, and that this is done in consultation with the African Union.

“The former Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya resigned in February, and for some reason Antonio Guterres hasn’t yet appointed his successor. There are reasons to believe that some Western states are trying to promote their candidates; but our [Russian] position is simple: it’s necessary that the appointment of Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya be coordinated with the African Union. This is obvious: Libya is an active African Union member, and the African Union is vitally interested in helping solve this problem.”

Lavrov said. “I’ve spoken about the current situation in detail. There are grounds for cautious optimism.”

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