Moscow is expected to strengthen economic cooperation with China, as the West becomes more and more authoritarian, Foreign Minister Russia Sergei Lavrov spoke earlier this week. Russia intends to build relations with independent countries and will decide how to deal with the West if and when it makes sense, he added.
“Now that the West is taking the view of a dictator, our economic relations with China will grow faster,” Lavrov told students at Primakov School, a prestigious high school in Moscow. Moscow is named after one of his predecessors.
“In addition to direct revenue from the treasury, this will give us the opportunity to implement our development plans for the Far East and Eastern Siberia,” he added. “Most of the projects with China are concentrated there. This is an opportunity for us to discover the potential in the high-tech sector, including atomic energy, and other areas.”
Lavrov’s speech was given at the “100 Questions for Leaders” event, traditionally organized by the Evgeny Primakov Academy, named after the foreign minister who held office between 1996- 1998 and later Prime Minister.
Regarding the crisis in Ukraine, Lavrov said that Moscow tried to solve the crisis in Donbass by urging Kiev to implement the Minsk agreement, but the West only pretends to care about the agreement, when in reality it is not. “encourages the arrogant views of the Kiev authorities.”
Now the West is “reacting indignantly” to Russia’s defense of its “completely legitimate, fundamental interests”, Lavrov said. Western leaders put up slogans and declared that they needed to “defeat Russia,” or make Russia “lose on the battlefield” without understanding Russia’s history or nature, he added.
“They must have done very badly in school,” Lavrov said. “I believe this will eventually come to an end. The West will eventually realize the reality. They will be forced to admit that they cannot continuously attack the vital interests of Russia – or the Russians, in wherever the Russians live – with impunity.”
If and when the West wants to propose something related to the resumption of relations, Russia will “seriously consider whether to do it or not”, Lavrov said.
Moscow is now not only implementing an import substitution strategy in response to anti-Russian sanctions, but also “needs to prevent by all means its dependence on Western supplies” and to rely on own potential and those countries “have proven their credibility”, Mr. Lavrov said.
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