West Trying to Create Instability Belt Around Russia, Foreign Minister Lavrov Says
09:12 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 10:11 GMT 23.07.2021)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The West is trying to form a belt of instability around Russia, using Belarus and Moldova in particular, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
"Naturally, they descend to outright fakes. All this must be taken into account. They are trying to form a belt of instability around us, forcing our closest neighbours, our brotherly peoples to make a choice 'either you are with the West, or you are with the Russian Federation'. They want to master the territory around our country both militarily and economically and to surround us with a sanitary cordon", Lavrov said at an online conference hosted by the United Russia political party.
Exactly this policy was used in Ukraine, and in recent months, the West tried to "test" coup methods in Belarus, with the United States and the EU countries also launching a "geopolitical struggle" for Moldova, the minister recalled.
"Now our Western colleagues are trying to expand their presence, including the military one along the perimeter of our borders, including Central Asia and Transcaucasus", Lavrov added.
At the same time, he stressed that the West s trying to undermine Russia's domestic political stability as well.
"Western political strategists make no secret of the fact that they want to undermine domestic political stability. They resort to a wide range of dirty tools and fake information, and put forward unsubstantiated accusations about Navalny and the Malaysian Boeing that crashed over Ukraine in July 2014, about the Skripals and many other things", Lavrov added.
Relations between Moscow and the West have been deteriorating since a violent coup d'etat that resulted in a civil war in Ukraine. After Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was downed over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, Washington and European nations accused Russia of being behind the catastrophe and used it as a pretext to introduce sanctions against Moscow.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations and even provided vast amounts of data on the incident, but a Joint Investigative Team (JIT), set up by the Netherlands, ignored this information.
Situation in Afghanistan
Lavrov also expressed the belief that the Moscow format on the Afghanistan conflict resolution is the most effective one for conducting peace talks.
"[Moscow] considers the Moscow format — which convened a couple of times and which represents all the Central Asian countries, regardless whether they share a border with Afghanistan or not, and also India, China, Pakistan, Iran, the United States and Russia — the most effective one ... It is representative, capacious and efficient", he noted.
© REUTERS / Jim HollanderU.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan
U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan
© REUTERS / Jim Hollander
The situation in the Central Asian country remains uneasy, with the Taliban* on the rise, as the militants claim to control over 85 percent of Afghanistan so far. Clashes between government forces and the radical movement escalated after the US and NATO began pulling their ground forces out of the nation on 1 May.
The withdrawal, which is scheduled to be completed in the coming months, is a result of a peace agreement between Washington and the Taliban, signed in 2020, which stipulated that foreign troops leave Afghanistan, while the Taliban pledged to deny a safe haven to terrorist groups.
*Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia