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Putin-Zelensky Talks, Russia-China Ties & Attempts to Isolate Moscow: Lavrov Speaks to Serbian Media

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
Sergei Lavrov's interview with Serbian media outlets comes amid Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, which prodded the US and its allies to slap packages of harsh sanctions on Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the West does not care one bit about the sovereign rights of other countries.
In an interview with four Serbian media outlets, including Radio and Television of Serbia, the newspapers Vecernje novosti and Politika, as well as the Tanjug news agency, Lavrov also touched upon the West's sanctions against Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine.

No Isolation of Russia, Lavrov Says

When asked about Russia's "isolation" in connection with the sanctions, he stressed that there is no such isolation and that his country has "a huge number of partners in the Asia-Pacific region, in Africa, and Latin America".
According to Lavrov, Russia has "good relations with the vast majority of organisations that were created by developing countries and, of course, among them are the African Union, and the community of Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and many others".

Moscow-Kiev Talks

The Russian foreign minister also dwelled upon the ongoing negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, adding that Russia hopes they will be a success.
"We are interested in these negotiations being wrapped up with a result that will achieve our fundamental goals. First of all, this is an end to the killing of civilians in the Donbass region, which has been going on for eight long years, during which the entire progressive Western community kept mum, never even making some critical comments, although everyone watched the bombing of civilian infrastructure, hospitals, kindergartens, clinics, and residential buildings in the area", Lavrov emphasised.
He made it clear that Moscow is ready to consider different locations for the continuation of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, including Belgrade.

Putin-Zelensky Meeting?

Separately, he focused on a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, which, Lavrov said, is needed as soon as there is clarity on key issues.
"The meeting [between the two] is needed as soon as we have clarity regarding the outcome of all these key topics. We have been drawing attention to these problems for many years. The West did not listen to us, now they have heard", the top Russian diplomat underscored.
He added that during the current negotiations with Ukraine, Moscow is obliged to make sure that "the people in Donbass never again suffer from the Kiev regime" and that "Ukraine ceases to be a country that is constantly militarised" in an attempt to threaten Russia.
Lavrov additionally touted Sino-Russian relations, which he said were "at their best level ever in history".

Russia's Special Op in Ukraine

President Putin announced the beginning of a Russian special operation in Ukraine on 24 February, following a request for assistance from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, which had witnessed weeks of intensifying shelling by the Ukrainian Army.
In a televised address, Putin stressed that the goal of the operation is "to protect people who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years", adding that for this purpose, Russia "will strive to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine, as well as bring to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful residents, including citizens of the Russian Federation".
The Russian Defence Ministry emphasised that the operation only targets Ukraine's military infrastructure with high-precision weapons and that civilians are out of danger. The US and its allies responded by imposing a host of sanctions against Russia.
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