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Russia FM Lavrov reacts to sanctions: West has always been ‘Russia phobic’

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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the West has always been “Russia phobic” and that the country never lived a day without being under sanctions imposed by the West, in an interview with Al Arabiya.

“Sanctions is not something which we saw out of the blue,” Lavrov said in reference to the sanctions imposed by Western powers on Russia, making it the world’s most sanctioned country overtaking Iran.

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“Sanctions have been with us for decades, we never lived a day in the history of the Soviet Union or the history of the Russian Federation when there were no sanctions,” the foreign minister said.

“So to believe that this latest outrage and the wave of sanctions which eventually showed the real face of West which, as far as I now understand, has always been Russian-phobic, to believe that this latest wave of sanctions is going to make Russia cry Uncle and to beg for being pardoned, those planners are lousy and of course they don’t know anything about foreign policy of Russia and they don’t know anything about how to deal with Russia.”

Since Russia launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, several countries imposed sanctions on the country in solidarity with Ukraine and to cripple the Russian economy.

Rising tensions between the West and Russia

“Well, they [the West] are not very smart and they certainly don’t know history. After the Soviet Union disappeared, the profession of Sovietologists or Russologists disappeared as well,” he said, adding that the West and the US thought that Russia “disappeared” after the fall of the Soviet Union and that it was in the US’s “pocket.”

The Russian official said, “it was not the case.”

Lavrov claimed that the West “blindly” supported Kyiv’s regime which is against Russia, claiming that “this was and still is the purpose of our Western friends.”

“We cannot rely on the West in anything especially in the areas of life, economy, technology, food as day-to-day requirements, with our strategic nation,” he said, clarifying that if the West admits to being “mistaken” and “wrong” about their actions towards Russia, then there is a chance of “some resumption of relations down the road.”

He added that for now, Russia has been working on remaining “self-sufficient” in key sectors to protect the country and its economy.

“I can assure you the fact that the Americans and the others are running all over the world, all over the world threatening people, telling them to join sanctions, to vote against Russia… I think it is not dignified for any self-respectful country,” the foreign minister said.

“What kind of democracies are they if they don’t give a damn about democracy and international relations? Just so that you must obey to us. They are not even autocrats, they are dictators and they threaten punishment to the people, to the countries who would not join their policies. It is a shame, it is a shame and it is a shame for the Western civilization if it takes the shape of such action.”

Western speakers need ‘discipline,’ media policy ‘indecent’

Lavrov claimed that in January this year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was pushing “his Russia-phobic policies” when he said that “nobody is going to change the policy on the Russian language and media” and that “nobody will be prosecuting the Neo-Nazi battalions who were supported by the state and openly wearing Swastika and the symbols of Waffen SS division.”

The foreign minister added that Zelenskyy said, “Ukraine made a mistake when it refused to be a nuclear power” and said that the country might “think about having nuclear weapons again.”

He also added that the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland “would welcome” the US’ nuclear weapons being moved from Germany to Polish territory.

“We were never playing with such dangerous things. We all should insist on the statements made by the P5 [Permanent five countries in the security council], never ever there could be a nuclear war. But to make sure that this is the case, the West must discipline speakers like our Ukrainian and Polish colleagues, who see no danger in playing with such very, very risky words.”

The foreign minister was asked about an interview he did on Russian TV earlier this week, which stated: “If the US and its allies continue to arm the Ukraine, the risk of war escalating into a nuclear conflict should not be under-estimated.”

Lavrov said that his statement had been taken out of context and that he meant to say that Russia have been “champions of making aegis by all nuclear countries near to start a nuclear war,” when asked about the risk of such a conflict arising.

“It did not come across. We know how indecent those who set the tone for the western media policy, how indecent they are. So we are used to it.”

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