Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the UN General Assembly on Saturday, expressing his concern over Western politicians’ obsession with delivering a “strategic defeat” to Russia. Lavrov argued that this fixation has led the West to disregard self-preservation and overlook the risks it poses to its own survival.
According to Lavrov, the continuous feeling of impunity has made Western politicians blind to the potential consequences of their actions. He highlighted the recent series of NATO exercises that simulated nuclear strikes against Russia, describing them as unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. These exercises, involving the troops of the US and its European allies, only exacerbate tensions and increase the threat of confrontation.
Lavrov also criticized Western nations for their rejection of the principle of equality in international relations, which he claimed has resulted in their total intransigence during negotiations. He accused the West of making promises without any intention of honoring them, leading to a perception that they are the real “empire of lies,” as Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated.
Furthermore, Lavrov called for a review of the existing world order, urging the US and its allies to abandon their policy of artificially containing other nations. He argued for the recognition of the economic and financial weight of the Global South and called for a redistribution of quotas and voting rights within the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In terms of reforming the UN Security Council, Lavrov proposed the inclusion of members representing the majority of the world’s nations, particularly those from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He argued that these regions should have proportional authority within the Council, as well as representation from global organizations such as the Nonaligned Movement or the Islamic Cooperation Organization.
Lavrov emphasized that this presents a unique opportunity for the democratization of international affairs, which aligns with the principle of a fair balance of interests. He expressed optimism in the potential revival of the United Nations as the central coordination body for global politics, asserting that nations should work together to address common problems based on mutual cooperation and respect for international law.
This address by Lavrov highlights the growing tensions between Russia and Western powers, particularly the US and its allies. It reflects Russia’s stance that Western policies and actions are not only detrimental to Russia’s interests but also pose a threat to global stability. As the world faces numerous pressing challenges, including geopolitical conflicts, climate change, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a cooperative and inclusive approach becomes even more crucial. Whether Lavrov’s call for reform and cooperation will be heeded by Western politicians remains to be seen.