MOSCOW (AA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday urged Ukraine to take seriously the peace talks with Russia, “show independence and contractual capacity.”
Speaking at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva via video conference, Lavrov said if agreements are achieved between Russia and Ukraine, they must avoid the fate of the Minsk Agreement on the Ukrainian crisis, which was never implemented.
Lavrov said the situation in the world is not improving, but getting worse due to the efforts by the US and its allies to promote “rules-based order.”
“What ‘this order’ turns out to be for human rights is clearly seen in the example of Ukraine,” he said.
Lavrov said the 2014 coup in Ukraine led to the civil war, claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to recognize the rebel regions of Ukraine and to launch a special military operation “to protect the residents” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“The purpose of our actions is to save people by fulfilling our allied obligations, as well as the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine so that this will never happen again. This is especially relevant in the light of an attempt to draw Ukraine into NATO.
“As you know, at the request of (Ukraine’s President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy, negotiations between representatives of Russia and the delegation of Kyiv began. I hope that the Ukrainian side is aware of the seriousness of the situation, is aware of the need to show independence and contractual capacity, and will avoid repeating the history of the Minsk agreements,” he said.
The Western reaction shows that its goal in Ukraine was to create an anti-Russian platform, he added.
“The USA and its allies, which are responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, and the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, are once again applying double standards,” he said.
Lavrov called the Western sanctions “illegal” and urged to end “the arrogant philosophy of the West, based on a sense of its own superiority and exclusivity.
“The sovereign equality of states is a key principle of the UN Charter. It fully applies to the work of the UNHRC. Russia is always open to an equal, mutually respectful discussion on any issues, ready to find a fair balance of interests,” he said.