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Ukraine Talks Unlikely to Succeed If Kiev Continues to Be Pumped Up With Weapons, Lavrov Says

Sputnik News

20220426
Ilya Tsukanov

The United States and its NATO allies have funnelled billions of dollars' worth of military assistance to Ukraine since 2014, and have committed to sending more and more advanced hardware to Kiev in recent weeks. Moscow has warned that the deliveries would have "unpredictable consequences".

Russia supports a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine crisis, but talks are unlikely to succeed if Kiev sticks with its present course and continues to be pumped up with weapons from Western countries, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has indicated.

"We are in favour of a negotiated solution. As you know, after President Zelensky proposed negotiations in early March, we immediately agreed. But given the way the Ukrainian delegation has behaved itself at the talks, and the way Zelensky himself behaved, refusing to confirm receiving new proposals which Russia had sent a week before, is of course depressing. Apparently, they are not particularly interested in negotiations", Lavrov said, speaking alongside United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow on Tuesday.

"Kiev is relying on what they have been promised by those calling on them to 'prevent Russia from winning'. They will continue this line by pumping Ukraine up with huge quantities of weapons. And if this continues, negotiations will hardly have any result", the foreign minister added.

Lavrov dismissed Kiev's call for talks to be held in Mariupol - a Donetsk city heavily affected by house-to-house fighting, calling it a "theatrical gesture".

Time to Determine UN's Global Role

Lavrov told his colleague from the UN that the present is a time when the world will have to choose its fate - resigning itself to US hegemony, or returning to the principles laid down in the UN Charter.

"I believe that this kind of conversation cannot be put off and put off. We have arrived at a moment of truth in the development of international relations: either we will accept that one country and its satellites will decide how humanity will live, or humanity will live on the basis of the UN Charter. This, in fact, is a very simple choice", the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov also confirmed that Moscow was interested in working with the UN and the Red Cross when it comes to "additional efforts to alleviate the suffering and plight of the civilian population" of Ukraine.

The foreign minister briefed Guterres on the situation in Ukraine and the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics as Russia sees it, and expressed gratitude to the secretary-general for understanding the need to consider the situation in Ukraine in the context of global processes, and not in isolation from other issues.

"We see - and I spoke about this at length with our colleague and friend Antonio Guterres, that to a large extent this situation [in Ukraine] was built up over time and took place, to a decisive extent, as a result of the course taken by our American colleagues and their allies for the unlimited expansion of NATO and the establishment of a unipolar world", Lavrov said.

"As far as our geopolitical space is concerned, all of this was done in the interests of 'containing' Russia, and for these purposes, consistently, throughout these long years Ukraine was used as a springboard from which to provoke and contain our country", he said.

Security Council's 'Main Defect'

Lavrov also commented on recent attempts by Western powers to create "alternative partnerships" and alliances outside the UN framework, saying such efforts are contrary to the UN Charter.

He stressed that the UN Security Council and the right of veto conferred to its members will not go anywhere, because it is one of the foundational pillars of the UN system as a whole, and without it the system would "go haywire".

The General Assembly is expected to vote later Tuesday on a resolution requiring the Security Council's five veto-holding members to justify its use in future. The United States is co-sponsoring the resolution along with the Principality of Liechtenstein.

On the issue of Security Council reform in general, Lavrov said Moscow has repeatedly pointed to the need to create safeguards to prevent the institution from being dominated by any one bloc of countries. "We have said repeatedly that the Security Council must rid itself of its main defect - the dominance of one group of countries. Out of its 15 seats, six are held by Western countries and their allies", he said.

Guterres arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for talks with senior Russian officials. He is expected to meet with President Putin later in the day.

© Sputnik



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