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Lavrov Blasts Austin’s Prediction of a NATO War Against Russia If Ukraine Falls

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. UN Photo/Cia Pak

March 2, 2024 (EIRNS)—Speaking at a diplomatic conference in Antalya, Türkiye, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Feb. 28 remark to the House Armed Services Committee that, “quite frankly, if Ukraine falls, I really believe that NATO will be in a fight with Russia.”

“The meaning of this [Austin] statement is that if Ukraine loses, NATO will have to go against Russia,” Lavrov said. “In a Freudian slip he blurted out what they had in mind. Before that, everyone was saying: We can’t let Ukraine lose, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will not stop at this and will take over the Baltics, Poland, Finland. But it turns out, according to Mr. Austin’s open, unambiguous statement, it’s the other way round. We do not have such plans and cannot have them, but the Americans do,” the minister said.

Lavrov added that the U.S. policy of “dragging Ukraine into NATO” has succeeded in its policy of destroying Europe. “All major expenses have been shifted to Europe. People are living increasingly worse, energy resources have rocketed in price many-fold, compared with what it could have been if the Americans had not blown up the Nord Stream gas pipelines,” the minister said. He said that U.S. policy was actually to destroy Europe. “And this goal has been achieved. Europe is now no longer a competitor to the U.S. at all. All the main businesses and manufacturing industry are moving to the U.S., where conditions are completely different and energy is much cheaper,” Lavrov said. (The transcript of Lavrov’s complete remarks are posted to the Foreign Ministry website.)