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Lavrov Holds Briefing on Ukraine and BRICS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivered his remarks in the wake of the recent Wagner rebellion, and discussed the prospects for peace in Ukraine, the fate of the international grain deal, as well as Western’s attempts to thwart BRICS expansion.

Lavrov states that Russia owes the West no explanation about the Wagner mutiny, and if the West “has any doubts” about Russia’s stability in the wake of the last week’s uprising led by Evgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner chief, then it would be more productive to open up bilateral dialogue – rather than engage in rampant media speculation and propaganda. Also, the West’s “schizophrenic” bizarre position on peace negotiations in Ukraine by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken means that the Ukraine conflict are unlikely be resolved by diplomatic means. Lavrov pointed to numerous statements by Blinken himself and other Western officials who have insisted that peace negotiations can only start after Ukraine conducts a successful ‘counteroffensive’ against Russia. “This looks like a schizophrenic situation… They say that everything will end in negotiations, but first Russia must be defeated.” He also suggested that the West is secretly seeking to engineer a situation which might lead to a temporarily freeze the Ukraine conflict in order to buy more time in order to deploy new military infrastructure and provide Kiev with new lethal long-range weapons – weapons which might surely escalate hostilities towards a world war. Moreover, humanitarian law violations by the regime in Kiev are precluding any diplomatic settlement in the short term. Russian foreign minister stated he had not seen a “single fact of deliberate shelling of civilian targets by the Russian army,” but noted that Kiev allowed “mercenaries, Western generals and instructors to use civilian facilities to hold all sorts of meetings.” Such actions, he insisted, stand in violation of international humanitarian law and amount to a “war crime.” “If we discover such gatherings, for example, as in Kramatorsk, we will destroy them, because these are people who have declared war on us,” he added. Moscow has been absolutely transparent in its efforts to protect Ukrainian children that had been caught in the midst of the fighting, Lavrov said. He added that Moscow does not try to hide the names and locations of the children that were taken to safe zones inside Russia. “If those children have parents or close relatives, they have every right to pick them up,” Lavrov noted, adding that this has already happened dozens of times.

On the grain deal being in jeopardy, Lavrov said he saw no arguments that could convince Moscow to extend the UN- and Türkiye-brokered grain deal with Kiev that unblocked agricultural exports via the Black Sea, pointing out that Ukraine’s shipments of such goods are purely commercial. However, the minister signaled that even if the deal were to expire on July 18th, Russia “would provide grain supplies in the same or larger amount to the poorest countries” at its own expense and completely “free of charge.”

Attempts to derail BRICS expansion Western countries are seeking to prevent the group, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, from accepting new members and increasing its international clout, Lavrov claimed. The West, he continued, does not want Russia and China to find new allies and are trying “to undermine the unification processes” on the Eurasian continent. However, according to the minister, “the global majority does not want to live by Western rules and stands by the universal norms of international law” enshrined in the UN Charter. Watch: 




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