If Russian interests are respected, Moscow ready to guarantee the same — Lavrov on Ukraine

MOSCOW:  Provided that its own interests are respected, Russia is ready to guarantee the legitimate interests of other participants during t...


MOSCOW:  Provided that its own interests are respected, Russia is ready to guarantee the legitimate interests of other participants during the negotiation process on Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.

Lavrov added that China’s plan for Ukrainian settlement mentions the need to lift unilateral Western sanctions, imposed long before the start of Russia’s special military operation, because they are a major irritant.

"This should serve as a basis for negotiations aimed at ensuring - this was the key provision - equal security to all participants in this process. This is our stance," the minister said. "Ways of putting these principles into practice can be found only at the negotiating table."

In his words, negotiations cannot be based on the 'peace formula' proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and promoted by Europe and the United States, but "on the basis of serious analysis of the existing security problems, recognition of realities on the ground and guarantees of the Russian Federation’s legitimate security interests."

"We, on our part, are ready to guarantee the legitimate security interests of other participants of the talks," he added.

The minister added that Russia acted positively to China’s peace plan, published in February 2023.

"Unlike Zelensky’s formula, which makes no sense from the point of view of diplomatic prospects, the Chinese document stems from analysis of reasons behind those events and the need to fix them," he said.

When asked to comment on Turkey’s proposal to Ukraine to hold the Istanbul-2 conference, aimed at settling the conflict and launching strategic security talks, Lavrov said: "We heard about [this initiative]. Russia explained that we are ready to consider these proposals on the basis of reciprocity."

Lavrov also said in the interview that he will meet with ambassadors from nations that make up the global majority to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

"I have already met with global majority ambassadors in Moscow twice. There will be another meeting in early April," he said.

He added that a previous discussion of this kind was held two months ago. The participants analyzed the so-called peace formula, put forward by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

"They were asking questions. I told them: let us analyze just one aspect of this 'formula,' [saying] that Russia must cede Crimea, Donbass and Novorossia (in accordance with 1991 borders)," he continued. "Ukraine left the Soviet Union in 1991 on the basis of the declaration of independence, which declared that it is a neutral, non-aligned country maintaining neighborly relations with all former [Soviet] republics, which respects human rights and the rights of national minorities. Nothing was left [from these declarations]."

He added that Kiev officials have repeatedly expressed their determination to subject residents of these regions to punitive measures.

"Just look up on the Internet what Ukrainian politicians and lawmakers are saying about people living in Crimea, the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Zaporozhye and the Kherson region," he said. "A lady in Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s parliament] said that 25,000 people must be executed in Crimea alone."


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Local Glob: If Russian interests are respected, Moscow ready to guarantee the same — Lavrov on Ukraine
If Russian interests are respected, Moscow ready to guarantee the same — Lavrov on Ukraine
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