Lavrov Tells Press Conference in Turkey, Russia Will Free Itself of Dependence on Western Partners
March 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—Following his meeting today in Antalya, Turkey with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and their Turkish host Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov held a 45-minute press conference in which he discussed key issues regarding the Ukrainian situation, and also made some strong remarks about where he sees Russia’s economy, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions, developing in the future, reported TASS. He told reporters that “we will solve this problem in such a way that never again will we depend on Western partners, be it governments or companies that are not guided by the interests of their business, but have become a tool of political aggression, Russia is now experiencing from the West,” he said.
“We will make sure that we never find ourselves in a similar situation again and that no ‘Uncle Sam’ or anyone else can make decisions that are aimed at destroying our economy,” he vowed. “We will find a way to no longer depend on it, and it should have been done a long time ago.” Regarding the Western claim that Russia has “weaponized” its oil and gas supplies, the Foreign Minister explained “as for oil and gas: We leave it all to the discretion and conscience of our Western colleagues. We have never used oil and gas as a weapon, although [Western colleagues] regularly accuse us of doing so.”
The Russian minister cited an example of the West’s hypocrisy, recalling that ten years ago, when Russia supplied natural gas to Europe via Ukraine, the latter provoked a crisis by siphoning off and stealing the gas. Russia fully complied with all regulations pertaining to volumes and prices, but what did Europe do? It knew that Ukraine was stealing the gas, but instead lied that Russia was “weaponizing” it. So, here’s the reality, Lavrov said. “Everything that is happening with regards to Ukraine is measured by a single standard, how to harm Russia through this country, and how to contain Russia.” And, he continued, “this containment began long ago, before it was officially announced.”
The West has “called Russia every name in the book, imposed sanctions, banned their companies from staying in the country, everyone fled, but at the same time they say that they will buy oil and gas, because otherwise they will freeze from the cold.” This behavior, Lavrov said, is a perfect demonstration of Europe’s so-called “values.” He pointed to Western threats to impose an embargo on the purchase of Russia’s energy resources. “Go ahead! If they stop buying oil and gas, our Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who oversees the energy sector, spoke in detail that we will not persuade them to buy our oil and gas,” he stressed. “If they want to substitute it, they are welcome to do so. “We will have markets for sales; we already have them.”