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Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov Is Refreshing, Blunt and Scary

An expert on the hard realities of nuclear war, University of Missouri Prof. Steven Starr selected excerpts from an important and unambiguous message delivered by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the 32nd Assembly of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy on May 18, 2024. We present them from his statement posted to the Foreign Ministry website (

The U.S.-led West sticks to its official goal proclaimed even at the doctrinal level of inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia. This includes military defeat and more. The very existence of our country is seen by many most aggressive Russophobes as a threat to the Washington-led golden billion’s global dominance. Just like everyone in this audience, we are following what the Western think tanks are doing as they develop scenarios to inflict maximum damage on us and call for supplying Kiev with ever-new types of weaponry. They are now officially, at the level of government members, talking about the possibility of targeting any part of Russia’s territory. At least, they say “it’s up to Kiev to decide.” The latest remarks on this matter by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, among others, are well known. These hawks undoubtedly insist that their governments increase investment in the defence industry and put the economy on a war footing, and fantasise about “decolonising” Russia (in plain Russian it means dismembering our country).

It’s hard to figure out who is fomenting whom. Are political analysts instigating politicians, or is it the other way round. Quite recently, on May 2, London’s Chatham House convened a conference which focused entirely on seizing Russian frozen assets in the West. Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland set the tone. We interacted more than once with her when she served as the Foreign Minister. Speaking at the conference, she promoted the idea that seizing these funds was a necessary and politically and morally justified step to save Ukraine and preserve the rules-based order. She stressed the importance of creating a precedent where the aggressor pays.

Along the same lines, a discussion, Russia’s Rupture, was held on April 25 at the Jamestown Foundation with activists from the Free Nations of Post-Russia Forum, which is openly supported by the United States, speaking there. The way these discussions are held shows that the acute phase of the military-political confrontation with the West continues and, if I may put it this way, is in full swing.

As for anti-Russia rhetoric, a special zeal in this regard is being displayed by our European neighbours. Everyone has heard remarks on an “inevitable war with Russia” by Emmanuel Macron, David Cameron, Josep Borrell, and others. I remember an article by Dmitry Trenin (who is present here), in which he said that Europe as a partner was irrelevant for us for at least one generation. I cannot but agree with him. We are experiencing this in practice almost every day. It must be admitted that many facts (as distinct from our sensations) speak in favour of this forecast. We think that this forecast is correct.

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