Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that the United States and NATO were direct participants in the Ukraine war because of their support to Kyiv and defended Moscow’s strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure.
Lavrov told a news conference that Washington and the Atlantic alliance were directly involved in the war because they were supplying arms to Ukraine and providing it with military training on their territory.
He defended Russian strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, which Kyiv and the West say are a war crime aimed at inflicting suffering on civilians - by cutting off heating, light and power.
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“We disable energy facilities (in Ukraine) that allow you (the West) to pump lethal weapons into Ukraine to kill Russians,” Lavrov said.
“So don’t say that the US and NATO are not participants in this war - you are directly participating.
Including not only the supply of weapons, but also the training of personnel - you train the (Ukrainian) military on your territory.”
Lavrov also said that the United States had created an “existential” threat to Russia from Ukraine.
He said Russia had never walked away from contacts with the United States but that it had not heard any “substantive ideas” from its US counterparts.
Lavrov added that the West had a real chance to avoid conflict in Ukraine, but had chosen to spurn Russian proposals to halt the expansion of NATO and agree a special security status for Kyiv.
The West, however, says Russia’s proposals made in the run-up to the Ukraine war were unrealistic and insincere.