Sergey Lavrov: The War of Russia and the United States would be A Disaster for Humanity

 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told RIA Novosti about waiting for further cooling, about Moscow’s possible response to Washington’s scrapping of the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Short Range Missiles, the price of a potential conflict between Russia and the USA, and about elections President of Ukraine, the situation around the DPRK and in Syria.

– We have become accustomed to the fact that opportunistic factors related to American domestic politics influence our bilateral relations, create additional difficulties in building a dialogue. Recently, the degree of their impact does not even depend on what stage of the electoral cycle the United States is at. Of course, one can expect that as the next presidential election in November 2020 approaches, attempts to play the Russian card will be made by individual politicians in Washington more actively and more persistently. We hope that this will not lead to a further loosening of the foundation of bilateral relations, which is not in the best condition anyway.

We consistently advocate developing a normal, predictable dialogue with the United States based on the principles of mutual consideration and respect for interests. So far, it is not possible to move in this direction because of unfriendly actions of Washington, incessant attempts to exert pressure on us with the help of economic, military-political and other tools. As a result, work on important areas of the bilateral and international agenda, including those related to maintaining stability and security in the world, is stalled.

If we speak in a broader, if you like, philosophical terms, the main problem in our relations is that the United States never considered them as valuable. Russia for the American political establishment is an object. We are demonized in order to keep Europe in discipline and strengthen the Euro-Atlantic bond. Or, for example, they are now seriously discussing how to use Russia against China in their favor. Yes, and attempts to inspire a change of power in our country or a change in Russian policy – and many in Washington suffer from such an illusion – dictated by the desire to make us a tool for serving US interests.

We know the countries that the Americans managed to force into such a role, but, of course, this will not work with us. And until the objectification of Russia, apparently inherited from the cold war, disappears from the consciousness of the American elite and leaves the practice, the relationship will not change. Selective interaction is flawed. It does not secure positive trends and a predictable future.

For our part, we are building relations with any state in a self-valuable way. We are ready to act in the same spirit with America. I repeat: the potential of constructive bilateral interaction is enormous. However, it remains unfulfilled for many decades. I think our people deserve much better than what we have now. With regard to contacts at the highest level, President Vladimir Putin at a press conference following the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, said he was open for a meeting with the US president when the American side was ready. Now it is difficult to say where and when such contact can take place.

– The case, apparently, goes to the breakdown of the INF Treaty. Are we negotiating with the US and the EU about any guarantees that such missiles will not appear in Europe? Are our partners ready to give such legally binding guarantees? If not, what is the answer?

– We are convinced that the collapse of the INF Treaty can seriously hit international security and strategic stability. We have to warn: we cannot and will not ignore the emergence of new American missiles, which threaten us and our allies. There should be no doubt that we have the necessary set of means to ensure our own security, and we can also further strengthen our defense capabilities. However, Russia, like any other sensible country, is not interested in an arms race and new missile crises.