Ed: This is the official transcript of the press conference and the following Q & A session which took place after the meeting between Mr Lavrov and the Ukrainian Foreign Secretary on the 10th of March 2022 in Antalya, Turkey.
The original text can be found here, at the official site of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Since the site loads exceedingly slowly thanks to ‘our’ sanctions, and since many might not have access to a useful machine translator, I’m publishing the original text as translated by my machine translator. Please forgive therefore the sometimes unfortunate or unintelligible English.
I’m publishing this despite it’s length to have a record because we don’t know if we’ll be able to access any Russian sites in future. It is very long but Mr Lavrov’s answers to western journalists provide hugely important information in regard to the future plans of Russia while also refuting western fake news.
Reading it will be worth your time – trust me!
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Dear ladies and gentlemen,
Today we held a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister M. Cavusoglu. It was followed by a tripartite conversation with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine D.I. Kuleba, which was held at the suggestion of the Turkish side. This initiative was announced by the President of the Republic of Turkey R.T. Erdogan in a conversation with President Vladimir Putin. We agreed with this proposal of our Turkish colleagues, based on the fact that in principle we support any contacts on the problems underlying the current Ukrainian crisis and on issues related to the development of ways out of it.
The only thing we immediately outlined is that these contacts should have added value. We believe that they will not be used, first of all, by our Ukrainian colleagues, who regularly do such things, in order to replace or devalue the real main negotiating track, which is developing on Belarusian territory at the level of two delegations approved by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine.
Today’s conversation confirmed that this track is no alternative. We talked mainly on the initiative of our Turkish friends about humanitarian issues. Explained what measures our military on the ground is taking to help alleviate the plight of civilians who were largely hostage, whom the so-called Ukrainian volunteer battalions and “territorial defense” forces use as human shields. You know these facts well. Our officials, including the Ministry of Defense regularly, make appropriate messages to the media several times a day. They confirmed that the initiative taken by the Russian side to open humanitarian corridors on a daily basis remains in force. The routes of such corridors, the time of their opening are determined by those who control the situation on the ground, based on the analysis of the situation and the need to choose the safest, most effective routes for civilians to exit.
We reminded our colleagues that at the last round of negotiations in Belarus, the Russian side presented extremely specific (already in the form of a draft legal document) considerations, and the Ukrainian side, having taken these proposals for study in Kiev, assured that it would soon give a specific answer to them.
We want to have a conversation on the Belarusian platform seriously, not to get off with any informal papers, but to coordinate things that have already been recognized and must be resolved in the context of a comprehensive settlement of the Ukrainian crisis and security on the European continent, taking unconditionally taking into account the interests of all countries without exception.
That’s, in fact, briefly, what we talked about today. Ready to answer your questions.
Question (translated from Turkish): Have you already calculated the damage to Russia from the war? Is it less or more than what you expected? Would you consider intervening outside the territory of Ukraine due to the fact that weapons (as you found) entered the Ukrainian army from the West? Will you consider the deployment of Patriot complexes in Poland as a direct threat? Do you keep the option of military retaliation open?
Sergey Lavrov: I didn’t really understand your question in translation. If we talk about how a special military operation is developing, these assessments are given by representatives of our Ministry of Defense and, most importantly, given by the President of Russia as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. He has repeatedly stressed that in general, the whole operation is going according to plan.
As for the supply of weapons to Ukraine from abroad – yes, we see how dangerous our Western colleagues are now, including the European Union, which, in violation of all its principles and so-called “values”, essentially encourages the supply of “lethal” weapons to Ukraine, including thousands of portable anti-aircraft missile systems that can move “on shoulder” anywhere. Very often, terrorists use them to pose threats to civil aviation. Where will these thousands of mobile portable anti-aircraft missile systems go next? We ask this question to our colleagues in the European Union when they are interested in how to put an end to the policy that has created a threat to the Russian Federation from Ukraine for many years. There is no answer. How will these MANPADS then be monitored? Therefore, for many years there will be risks for civil aviation and not only in the Ukrainian sky, but over the whole of Europe.
As for the question of whether we plan to attack other countries. We do not plan to attack other countries. We didn’t attack Ukraine either. In Ukraine, as we have explained many times, there is a situation that poses direct threats to the security of the Russian Federation. Contrary to our many years of reminders, exhortations, appeals, suggestions, no one listened to us. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken in detail on this topic. New facts that are now being revealed in the liberated territories, in particular in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, indicate that the attack on these people’s republics was carefully planned for this month.
The facts about what the Pentagon does in the biological laboratories created with its money, using Ukrainian territory to experiment on pathogens that can later be used to create biological weapons, are completely outrageous. It is clear that representatives of Washington publicly denied rumors that they were engaged in some prohibited activity in Ukraine. The fact that the EU countries immediately unanimously began to say that they also do not have any data that Americans in Ukraine are engaged in some military biological activities is also not surprising. What the United Nations representatives said that they also do not have such information is not surprising. Of course, the Americans carried out these activities in deep secrecy. Similarly, they work in other states of the post-Soviet space, creating their military biological laboratories right along the perimeter of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. That’s why you definitely can’t turn away from it. There is a Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons. It requires States to report on any activity they carry out both on and outside their territory.
Those who pump Ukraine with weapons should understand that they are responsible for their actions. As well as those who encourage the sending of mercenaries to Ukraine in order to fight in the spirit of those traditions that ultra-radicals, battalions have introduced into Ukrainian everyday life.
Question (translated from English): Russia used various words to justify the invasion of Ukraine, but you said it was for the benefit of the Ukrainian people. How can you justify the shelling of the maternity hospital and the hospital where the children were treated? Do you agree with President V.A. Zelensky that it is atrocity to shoot at mothers and children? As for the Russian people, Russia faces default – forty billion dollars – this will send Russia to 1917, during the Bolshevik revolution. What will you say, justifying to Russian citizens that you destroyed their economy because of an invasion that the rest of the world believes should not have happened?
Sergey Lavrov: About the maternity hospital – not for the first time we see pathetic screams about the so-called “atrocities” that are being repaired by the Russian armed forces. Three days ago, on March 7, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, our delegation presented the facts that this maternity hospital had long been captured by the Azov ultra-radical battalion, from where all women in labor, nurses, all service personnel were expelled. Therefore, draw your own conclusions about how public opinion is manipulated around the world.
I saw the reports of both your channel and other Western media today. Very emotional. Unfortunately, the second side of any situation that allows you to make an objective view is never paid special attention.
As for the state of the economy of the Russian Federation – you know, we will take care of it ourselves. This is done by both the President of Russia and our Government. You say that we used a lot of words to justify what we are doing in Ukraine. We drew attention to the fact that “anti-Russia” has been made from Ukraine for many years. The West publicly, since the early 2000s, before each election demanded that Ukrainians decide who they are with – with the West or with Russia. That is, either you are with us or you are against us. What are these Western values that were hammered into the head of the Ukrainian people? In addition, we also observe such things: as soon as the pro-Western “candidate” was in last place, as it was in 2009, the West, in violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, forced the Constitutional Court of the country to decide to hold the third round of voting. There were many similar manipulations in those “best years.” A pro-Western experimental tool was constantly being created from Ukraine. In the end, NATO began to demand that Ukraine have complete freedom to join this bloc, naval bases have already begun to be established in Ukraine, it was about the deployment of missiles there that pose a direct threat to the Russian Federation. Now we find out that in secret from the Ukrainian people and the world community, military and biological laboratories also functioned there. When we began to talk about the need for Ukraine to abandon nuclear-weapon-free status, we began to appeal to the mind and conscience of our Western partners and proposed to agree on the principles of security on the European continent. We were told that you can talk about anything, but don’t even get into NATO enlargement issues. We’ll solve it ourselves without you. Don’t worry, NATO expansion does not threaten your security. Why do NATO define our security issues and our security interests? It won’t work that way. You can’t talk to Russia like that. We are not going to justify our actions in Ukraine. Their goals are very specific: we do not want to militarize Ukraine with NATO or without NATO, because it is possible to put American systems there without NATO that will keep our territory at gunpoint. We do not want to build a neo-Nazi state with traditions in Ukraine, when battalions with SS patches march to the President of Ukraine. When these militants train to carry out terrorist actions. We want Ukraine to be neutral. President Vladimir Putin has said many times that insisting on non-extension of NATO, we do not want to deny security to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian state at all. We are ready to discuss the security guarantees of the Ukrainian state together with the guarantees of the security of European countries and the security of Russia. The fact that now, judging by the speeches of President V.A. Zelensky, the understanding of this approach is beginning to make its way, inspires some optimism.
As for our economic problems, we will cope with them. We coped with difficulties at all stages of our history when they arose. This time, I assure you, we will get out of this crisis with a completely improved psychology and consciousness. We will have no illusions that the West can be a reliable partner, we will have no illusions that the West will not betray anyone and its own values at any time. Where is it seen that the right to private property is trampled just at the click of two fingers? Where is it seen that the presumption of innocence, as a pillar of the Western legal system, is simply ignored and grossly violated? I assure you, we will definitely do it. But we will do everything to no longer depend on the West in those areas of our lives that are crucial for our people.
Question: The Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine says that Kiev is ready for a diplomatic settlement, but the only possible negotiations with the Russians could only be at the presidential level. Do you consider it expedient to organize negotiations between the presidents of the two states at the moment or in the future?
Sergey Lavrov: I think everyone knows well that Russian President Vladimir Putin never refuses contacts. We just want these contacts not to be organized for ourselves, but to fix specific agreements. This topic has been touched upon today. I reminded D.I. Kulebe that we are always in favor of dating if it helps to solve the problem. In recent years, after the unconstitutional coup d’état, the Ukrainian leadership prefers meetings for the sake of meetings, to imitate specific solutions for TV cameras. When the Minsk agreements were tightly blocked by the Kiev regime, President V.A. Zelensky constantly urged: “let’s meet,” “let’s finally get together again.” Then we reminded Ukrainian colleagues that in December 2019, a summit of the “Normandy format” was held in Paris, all decisions were addressed to Kiev and not one of them was not implemented. Why did you have to meet in Paris if another summit is needed for Paris decisions to be implemented? This way of replacing the essence of any problem with various external effects: they and the “Normandy format” proposed to make it expanded, to invite British, Americans and Poles there. Turkey was also offered to be invited. Either they decided to create something parallel to the Contact Group, or to invite French and Germans to the Contact Group. The Kiev leadership “fountained” with initiatives. At today’s meeting, we confirmed that President Vladimir Putin does not refuse to meet with President Vladimir Zelensky. Someday, I hope, such a need will arise. But for this it is necessary to carry out preparatory work, which is going on the Belarusian track. Three rounds have already taken place. Our extremely specific proposals have been transferred to the Ukrainian side. She promised us that there would be very specific answers. We’re waiting.
Question: Wherever Russia enters “with peace” and denazification, kidnappings and torture occur. It was in Crimea. We know about 200 Crimean Tatars and Deputy Chairman of the “Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People” N. Dzhelialov. Women have been kidnapped in the occupied territories of the south of the Azov region today. One of them is a deputy of the Zaporozhye Regional Council, Crimean Tatar L. Ibragimova. You have already moved to a new level. You haven’t kidnapped women in these eight years. It is important that my colleagues from Turkey know what Russia has been doing with the Crimean Tatars not only for eight years in Crimea. What do you say to that? These are the facts. This is my native region: Genichesk, Melitopol (where I spent my childhood).
Sergey Lavrov: You said these were facts. I think this is largely another word, also starting with the letter “f” – fake. Fakes are full of air, the Internet and the media in general. I didn’t know about this story, about the alleged kidnapping of a representative of the deputy corps, but I know about the stories that the Kiev regime is famous for. Yesterday I heard that deputy E.V. Shevchenko disappeared somewhere. Didn’t find him? A member of the delegation to the Belarusian negotiations who participated in the first round, D.B. Kireev was killed. At first, they said that his security service of Ukraine executed without trial on charges of treason, then that it was some kind of showdown. If you deal with this kind of individual stories, you can find a lot of interesting and outrageous things. I proceed from the fact that trying to take one episode, most likely fictional, and strive to create public opinion, including here in Turkey, in order to build an anti-Russian policy, is again a substitute for serious conversation, negotiations and actions of this kind with external effects. I haven’t heard about a specific case with deputies. I’ll make inquiries. I heard about E.V. Shevchenko, who disappeared not in Zaporozhye, but in Kiev.
I think you’ve already been filmed and shown with fanfare in your homeland. You have achieved your goal.
Question (translated from English): Now they are talking about the use of biological weapons during the attack. What can you say about it?
Sergey Lavrov: We are concerned about the information that the Pentagon has created several dozen military biological laboratories on Ukrainian territory as part of its program to create such facilities around the world in violation of the relevant Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons. We sent an official request. We’ll demand an explanation.
As for the fact that they have already used these weapons, I have no data. But the fact that these were not peaceful experiments, but aimed at creating biological weapons, and ethnically oriented, is almost beyond doubt.
Question: The U.S. openly declares that its ambassadors have been instructed to convince the governments of the world to join sanctions against Russia. Did you give appropriate instructions to our ambassadors to be persuaded not to join?
Sergey Lavrov: We guide our ambassadors in any situation in as much detail as possible about our position, facts related to a particular situation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our ambassadors conscientiously convey this information to the authorities of the host country so that they have an objective picture.
Running around the world and forcing sovereign, independent UN member states, fulfilling the order of the “big brother” is not in our tradition. We are still polite people, as you know. Americans do not hide what they require Turkey, India, Egypt, Southeast Asian countries and even China to comply with American unilateral illegal sanctions. I couldn’t imagine such disrespect for great countries, civilizations. But for Americans, any “bast in line” everything will be useful in order to bring their Russophobia to apotheosis. We don’t do this kind of thing.
Question (translated from English): You said today that Russia does not invade Ukraine, but this is actually happening. You also said that you would not harm civilians, but thousands were injured, hospitals were attacked. Why should Ukrainians believe what you say to them and the whole world?
Sergey Lavrov: I’ve already said about hospitals and maternity hospitals, but you’re not listening. This will never be shown, and no one will say from the Western media that three days ago in the UN Security Council we explained what happened to this maternity hospital.
As for statements about who and what will do or who will not do what, we wanted to resolve the issue diplomatically to the last. We presented a detailed document on our bilateral treaty with the United States and a draft Russia-NATO agreement on all key issues of European security, taking into account the security interests of all countries of the continent, including Ukraine, without exception. We were told that Ukraine “them” and they and Ukraine themselves will decide its fate, as they want and will do so. Much more of what we proposed, including preventing the creation of physical military threats to the Russian Federation “on earth” was also rejected. Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly explained why he decided to conduct a special military operation. I hope that you (even if you are not allowed to tell your listeners, viewers about it) will be able to read our document yourself and understand our logic. It’s explained there. We want Ukraine, which will be friendly, demilitarized, in which there will be no threat of creating another Nazi state, there will be no ban on the Russian language, culture, Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, all this has already been created, it is reflected in the legislation. All our exhortations over the past eight years after the coup d’état, appeals to Western colleagues to make them annum with the Ukrainian authorities, have come across a blind wall of silence. The most obvious things with the Russian language. The law “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as a State Language” was adopted, in which only the Ukrainian language was declared suitable for use, and all other languages were infringed in one way or another, including in terms of teaching in primary school and higher education institutions. Not only we, but also Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania began to express discontent. Then the Ukrainian authorities acted simply. She made an exception to this discriminatory law for EU languages. Very elegant. There is only one Russian who is completely deprived of his rights, despite the fact that the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees these rights for the Russian language. The West fell silent and calmed down. This once again showed that it is the West from Ukraine that needs it to constantly work against Russia, against all Russian.
The West’s attitude to the referendum in Crimea is also a policy of double standards. There was no referendum in Kosovo. NATO specifically created the situation with its bombings to destroy Yugoslavia. When independence was declared by the decision of the Kosovo legislature, the entire West (almost all) applauded and supported it as a manifestation of democracy and freedom of choice. Why can Albanians, but Russians can’t in Crimea? Albanians in Yugoslavia are not what were allowed, they were strongly encouraged to move in this direction, because the long-standing goal of a country with a rich history as Great Britain has always been not to have too large states in the Balkans, and in Europe as a whole. We know that well. Perhaps the same goal was pursued against the Russian Federation.
We realized that now we are not talking about Ukraine at all, but about aggression against all Russian: interests, religion, culture, language, security, etc. The fierce reaction of the West to our actions shows that there is really a fight not for life, but for death, for Russia’s right to be on the political map of the world with full respect for its legitimate interests.
Question: The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stated that there was no progress on the ceasefire. Have any results been achieved during the negotiations? What are your future plans?
Sergey Lavrov: We did not come here to replace the negotiating track on Belarusian territory created by the President of Russia and the President of Ukraine. That’s where all practical issues are discussed. It was explained in detail what needs to be done to end this crisis. This includes demilitarization, denazification, ensuring the neutral status of Ukraine, and a number of other things. There’s a business conversation there. We warned our colleagues from the very beginning of today’s meeting that we would not create a parallel track here, as the Ukrainian side wants. They always prefer to replace specific work on the implementation of agreements by creating new formats, which should definitely occupy the main place in the news, simulating real work.
I am not surprised that D.I. Kuleba said that it was not possible to agree on a ceasefire. No one was going to negotiate a ceasefire here. All these proposals and the sequence of steps set out in these proposals are well known to the Ukrainian side.
If the purpose of the meeting was to ask questions: “let’s cease fire,” “let’s build humanitarian corridors not as the Russian side proposes, but as the Ukrainian side wants,” then all this was done only to tell journalists that all our good aspirations failed. This fits into the logic of Ukrainian diplomacy, which I have already mentioned. External effects designed for momentary perception of the public and replacing real work.
Question (translated from English): My question concerns the U.S. ban on imports of oil and gas from Russia. What is Russia’s oil policy towards Europe? How does Russia react to sanctions from various companies and countries?
Sergey Lavrov: I have already answered that we will solve this problem. And so that never again and in no way depend on Western partners, be it governments or companies that are not guided by the interests of their business, but act as an instrument of political aggression that Russia is now experiencing by the West. Let’s make sure that there is no more in such a situation, and that no “Uncle Sam” or anyone else can make decisions aimed at destroying our economy. We’ll find a way not to depend on it anymore. It should have been done a long time ago.
About oil and gas. We leave all this to the discretion and conscience of our Western colleagues. They have never used oil and gas as weapons despite the fact that they regularly imputed us as guilt. In 2010, there was the first crisis when the Ukrainian authorities began to steal transit gas for Europe because it stopped paying for its own. We regularly supplied transit gas to Europe in full compliance with our obligations (this concerned volumes and price), and they stole. Do you think Europe somehow tried to subdue them? Nothing like that. Europe began to say that it is Russia who uses gas as a weapon. Although they knew perfectly well what was really going on. With regard to Ukraine, everything is measured by one criterion: how can the Russian Federation be harmed through this country. This deterrence of our country began even before it was officially announced. An interesting point characterizing European values. They scold us with the last words, imposed sanctions, forbade their companies to stay here. At the same time, they say that we will buy oil and gas, because otherwise they will be cold. Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation A.V. Novak, who oversees the energy sector, said in detail that we will not persuade us to buy our oil and gas. They will want to replace something for God’s sake. We will have markets for sale. They already exist.
Question (translated from English): Does Russia have any “red lines” regarding the countries that send military assistance to Ukraine?
Sergey Lavrov: I have already answered the question of whether we are going to react in any way to what the countries that arm Ukraine are doing. We believe that these countries pose enormous threats to themselves, including when they transfer the most dangerous weapons, such as man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, and when they completely dispassionately observe the Ukrainian authorities distribute small arms in hundreds of thousands, it is unclear to whom, without any documents. We have never talked about any plans for NATO member countries. This was said by my new colleague, the British Foreign Secretary, E. Trass [sic!]. She said that if the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin does not lose in Ukraine, there will be no limit to his ambitions, and the next goals will be the Baltic States and Moldova. This is not what we say, but E. Trass, who is famous for her aphorisms. When she prophesies an attack on the Baltic States and Moldova, I think it is quite worthy of English culture, politics, diplomacy, because in the same way the British wrote a fake testament of Peter I. Quite in their spirit.
Question: Today it is becoming possible what was impossible to imagine yesterday. Tell me, do you believe that a nuclear war can begin?
Sergey Lavrov: I don’t want to believe it and I don’t believe it. Please note that the nuclear topic in the context of the events that have unfolded in Ukraine in recent years has literally escalated in recent months and weeks, the nuclear topic has been thrown into this discourse exclusively by Western representatives, primarily from NATO. Let me remind you that the same E. Trass (today we talk a lot about her) stated that she does not exclude the conflict between NATO and Russia. How can this come to mind? Secretary General J. Stoltenberg (who, in my opinion, is already acting too independently, without coordinating his statements as it should be, with all NATO members) said that if NATO wants, nuclear weapons would be deployed on the territory of the Eastern European members of the alliance. My French colleague J.-Le Drian reminded President Vladimir Putin that France also has nuclear weapons. By the way, French Minister of Economy B. Le Maire proudly stated that the West declares total war on Russia (“total Krieg”, as they once said “not the French”). U.S. President J. Baiden, when asked if there was any alternative to these “sanctions from hell”, said that the alternative was only World War III. It constantly pops up “in the subcort”. We never talked about it. Of course, it’s alarming when the West, as “according to Freud,” everything returns and returns to this topic.
Question: President of Kazakhstan K.-Zh. Tokayev previously proposed Kazakhstan as a platform for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Is Russia considering this proposal and when are the next negotiations between the conflicting parties possible?
Sergey Lavrov: Russia is grateful to everyone who, out of good intentions, offers services in helping to resolve the current difficult intra-Ukrainian crisis and who is ready to contribute to finding an outcome, taking into account the concerns of all parties and on the basis of a balance of interests. The main thing is that these proposals (which, as I said, we are sure, our Turkish friends and Kazakhstani friends make them out of the best intentions) are not used by the Ukrainian side, which is used to replacing real actions to fulfill its obligations with external effects. I remember that they wanted to transfer to Kazakhstan and the Contact Group, when life was still warming in the Minsk agreements, they also offered a Turkish platform. Behind all this is still, I’m sure, the reluctance to do my work, which in general has been agreed. But if there is added value, as President Vladimir Putin said, and as we have repeatedly reminded of this, Russia is ready for a variety of formats that should not be convened for a “talking room”.
Question (translated from English): Tell me, is Russia really serious about finding a solution to this situation through negotiations? If so, what suggestions have you made, what progress have you been able to make? How can you talk about diplomacy, ceasefire and negotiation when maternity hospitals are attacked and so many civilians suffer?
Sergey Lavrov: For the third time I am asked about the maternity hospital, which means that you have not heard what I said about this particular case, which today both your corporation and all other key Western media have made headliner. There have been no women, children, no service personnel in this maternity hospital (we said this on March 7 this year in the UN Security Council). It was occupied by fighters of the Azov battalion together with other radicals and staged their stronghold there, as they do throughout Ukraine, turning people into human shields, placing strike equipment in residential areas and from there shelling the positions of Russian troops and militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. As for our proposals made back on December 15, 2021, they were extremely serious. These are proposals to build a security system, and not some new system, but to implement what has been repeatedly agreed at the highest political level, including the OSCE summits in Istanbul in 1999 and in Astana in 2010, where it is written in black and white that each country has the right to choose its own unions, but no one has the right to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others. This formula was agreed in a complex. It was the pinnacle of diplomacy. It was a decision signed by the leaders of Russia and our neighbors, and (sorry for the immodesty) of the free world. No state, group of countries, organization in the European space has the right to claim a dominant role, as NATO is now doing in a gross violation of all the obligations of its member states. On our proposal to conclude an agreement between Russia and NATO, in which the principles I set out, taken from the documents signed at the highest level, would be codified and become legally binding, we received such “certificates” for half a page from J. Stoltenberg and J. Borrel, where it was said: do not worry, we are ready to talk. The fact that we received answers not from the leadership of individual countries, but from NATO heads of the European Union means that both Britain and other Western leaders simply delegated all their powers to them and were entrusted with full responsibility for fulfilling or not fulfilling the oaths made in the documents of the OSCE summits. That’s what your representatives, representatives of the West, did with diplomacy.
We still want diplomacy to solve all issues. But this time we clearly explained that demilitarization, denazification of Ukraine is necessary. You can’t delay it. The direct military, cultural, informational, linguistic, civilizational threat created in this territory against the Russian Federation has become absolutely clear and urgent. If we were dealing with decent people, to be honest, everything would probably have already been decided, and security agreements would have been reached. But we do not see partners who are ready to do business honestly with us. Although such attempts were made. I hope that those Western leaders who are now alive about what is happening in Ukraine are aware of the existential threat to all European security caused by their complete inaction and unwillingness to implement previous agreements. We never wanted war and still we don’t want war. We want to end this war, including based on the interests of the two republics that refused to adopt an unconstitutional bloody coup in 2014, a regime that proudly, with a smile on its lips watched its representatives burn people alive in Odessa, which sent combat planes to bomb the center of Lugansk, and which all these eight years bombarded, attacked, shelled There is a lot of evidence of this. Because we, our journalists (honor and praise to them, bow my head to everyone who gave their lives there) showed everything that was happening there 24/7. And Western journalists have hardly gone to the line of contact all these eight years. They showed how good it actually lives on the other side. The destruction by 70%, 80% was concentrated on the side of the militia, indicating who usually starts the shelling. Once, representatives of your corporation, the BBC, drove there for a couple of days and, I must say, made a rather objective report. But in order for someone in the West to cover the topic of the aggression of the Ukrainian regime against their own people on a daily basis, against the sabotage of the Minsk agreements approved in the UN Security Council, direct statements about the refusal to implement this important document, I do not remember this. If we take everything you are writing about what is happening in Ukraine and compare it with what and how you have told all these eight years, I think you get a very instructive picture about freedom of speech, access to information and much more, which is enshrined in the decisions taken at the highest political level within the framework of the OSCE and which, as we can see, is not fully respected by our Western colleagues.
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