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Iran Press TV

Russia, China reject West's self-centered unilateralism: Lavrov

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 23 March 2021 10:15 AM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia and China are opposed to the West's self-centered geopolitical games and unilateralism and are doing their utmost to protect their relations from Western threats.

At a joint news conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Tuesday, Lavrov said Beijing and Moscow did their "utmost to make sure that" their relations were not threatened by the West.

"We reject zero-sum geopolitical games and reject unilateral, illegitimate sanctions that our Western colleagues resort to more and more often," the Russian foreign minister said.

He said that the Western states "are unfriendly toward our countries."

"That also applies to the ways of conducting trade, mutual settlements, and everything else that makes us stronger," he added.

Earlier, Lavrov told Chinese media that China and Russia needed to work to further reduce their dependence on the dollar and switch to national currencies in bilateral trade.

The US has imposed more than 90 rounds of sanctions on Russia in recent years. The measures have targeted state banks and corporations, the oil and gas sector, and top officials and business tycoons.

Lavrov dismisses 'vaccine diplomacy' allegations

At the Tuesday press conference, Lavrov rejected Western allegations that Russia and China were frenetically promoting their COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the West was "trying to portray Russia and China as some kind of adventurers in the field of the so-called vaccine diplomacy."

"This is absolutely not true," Lavrov said.

The US accuses China and Russia of using the coronavirus vaccines "to engage with countries in a way where the two are not holding them to the same standards as the US or other countries would hold them to on issues of human rights," as stated by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki earlier this month.

She also accused Russian intelligence services of working to undermine the US-made Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in response that the Kremlin had "always been against politicizing issues related to vaccines."

The allegations against the two world powers come as COVID-19 vaccines are badly needed across the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian vaccine, the first to have been developed in the world, has been the target of dismissals by Western media, which have described it as hastily prepared to serve political purposes.

Nevertheless, many world countries, including European states, have authorized Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

Brussel's unilateral steps destroy entire EU-Russia ties

The Russian foreign minister said that Russia's relations with the European Union (EU) had been destroyed as a result of the unilateral steps taken by Brussels against Moscow.

"There are no relations with the European Union as an organization," Lavrov said, adding that the Kremlin was, nevertheless, open to dialog with the bloc.

"If and when Europeans deem fit to eliminate these anomalies in contacts with their largest neighbor, of course, we will be ready to build up these relations based on equality, the search of balance of interests," he added.

Lavrov said, however, that Moscow saw "no changes on the Western front, while in the East… we have a very intensive agenda, which is becoming more diverse every year."

The EU, Germany in particular, has been engaged in a tense dispute with Russia since the West accused Russia of poisoning opposition figure Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent.

EU foreign ministers agreed in December last year to extend sanctions against Russia by another six months. The measures target whole sectors of the Russian economy, including its oil businesses.

Brussels initially imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 over the conflict in Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia.



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