Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Lavrov suggests Russia could downgrade diplomatic presence in West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow could reduce its diplomatic presence in Western countries, blaming sour relations with Europe and the United States and Russia’s need to build ties elsewhere.

“Of course we do not see any sense in or have any desire to maintain the same presence in Western countries, … and Third World countries, both in Asia and Africa, on the contrary, need additional attention,” Lavrov said in an address to new foreign ministry recruits.


There is no point in maintaining the previous diplomatic presence in Western states, Russian diplomats work there in conditions that can hardly be called human, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, speaking to college graduates admitted for diplomatic service for the first time.

"There is neither point nor desire to maintain the previous presence in Western states. Our people work there in conditions that can hardly be called human. Problems are being created constantly for them; they face threats of physical assaults. And, most importantly, there’s no work to do since Europe decided to shut off from us and sever any economic cooperation. You can’t force love," Lavrov noted.

The Russian top diplomat recalled that the United States "had actively prepared" and Europe "dutifully accepted" the coup d'etat in Ukraine, which "was carried out under Nazi slogans."

"This means one thing: the West took the side of those who want to revive Nazism. We proceed from this even now. Every day we see numerous confirmations of our assessment," Lavrov went on.

"Under these conditions, we will shift the "center of gravity" to countries that are ready to cooperate with us on an equal and mutually beneficial terms and look for promising joint projects," he concluded.

The minister stressed that now the Foreign Ministry is carrying out "a geographical reorientation of activities both abroad and in the central office."

"The countries of the so-called third world (in Asia, Africa, Latin America), on the contrary, need additional attention. Many plans are being agreed at the highest and high levels that require diplomatic support, including business, joint cultural, humanitarian educational projects," he added.

Lavrov recalled that many Russian diplomats, due to the Russophobic policy of the West, stopped their business trips abroad ahead of schedule.

"The priority for us was the obligation to employ them as soon as possible. We managed to do this. We have been dealing with this problem since June. Now all issues have been resolved without prejudice to the employment of young people present here," he stressed.

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