06:17 GMT14 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US sanctions risks need to be alleviated by switching to alternative currencies and moving away from using the dollar, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

    "We need to reduce sanctions risks by strengthening our technological independence, by switching to payments in national currencies and in world currencies, alternative to the dollar. We need to move away from the use of Western-controlled international payment systems," Lavrov said in an interview with Chinese media, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    The minister said the US is aiming to limit the technological development of Russia and China, so the two countries need to strengthen their independence.

    "They are promoting their ideologised agenda aimed at maintaining their dominance by holding back the development of other countries. This policy runs counter to the objective trend and, as it was customary to say, is ‘on the wrong side of history.’ The historical process will still take its toll," Lavrov said.

    According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the US and other western countries are no longer capable of using classical diplomacy and only resort to one tool on the international arena: sanctions.

    "Diplomacy is relations between people, it is the ability to listen to each other and hear each other and the ability to find a balance of interests. That’s exactly the values that the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are promoting in diplomacy," Lavrov said.

    He emphasized that ultimatums and expectations for a partner state to "accept mistakes" and agree to the presented terms are not diplomacy, but that’s exactly what western states engage in and, when met with resistance, they impose sanctions.

    Lavrov said that the administration of US President Joe Biden is sticking to the same sanctions policy as former administrations.

    "This approach [sanctions instead of diplomacy] has, unfortunately, taken root in the US. It started with the administration of Barack Obama, continued for four years when Donald Trump was at the helm of the White House. Now we are seeing the same ‘instincts’ demonstrated by the new US administration," the minister explained.

    Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama react after a heckler is removed from the East Room of the White House.
    © AP Photo / Evan Vucci
    Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama react after a heckler is removed from the East Room of the White House.
    Lavrov stressed that sanctions benefit no one, as evident in the losses that EU businesses have been suffering because of anti-Russia sanctions.

    "You hear how European business expresses dissatisfaction with the fact that it is incurring losses, and meanwhile its niche in the Russian market is being occupied by other countries that are guided by their national interests, the interests of developing their economy, supporting business, and not by the logic of punishing someone for something," Lavrov said.

    The Russian foreign minister emphasized that sanctions are particularly damaging amid the coronavirus pandemic and expressed concern over the fact that calls for the freezing of sanctions and for creating "green corridors" free of sanctions have been ignored.

    "We must form the widest possible coalition of countries that will fundamentally oppose this illegal practice," the Russian Foreign Minister concluded.

    currency, Russia, Sergei Lavrov, China, US
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