Lavrov claims the West stopped Ukraine peace negotiations and is now 'almost in a real war' with Moscow

Tuesday, 24 January 2023 - 18:15

Lavrov+claims+the+West+stopped+Ukraine+peace+negotiations+and+is+now+%27almost+in+a+real+war%27+with+Moscow
Lavrov claims the West stopped Ukraine peace negotiations and is now 'almost in a real war' with Moscow as South Africa greets 'Russian friends' and 'openly sides with the Kremlin'

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov today claimed the West stopped peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the early months of the war.

Lavrov claimed Russia did not 'refuse negotiations' with Ukraine and was willing to negotiate but the US and other Western nations advised Kyiv against it.

His remarks on a visit to South Africa were similar to those made last year by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country was ready for talks but Ukraine's Western allies prevented that from happening.

The U.S. and other Western nations have said that Russia is not serious about negotiations to end the war, set to mark its one-year anniversary next month.

Lavrov also warned the war between Russia and the West is no longer hybrid but is 'almost a real one', as he blasted Ukraine's allies for sending weapons to the war-torn country.

Western nations have pledged to send billions of pounds worth of arms to Kyiv and Poland's prime minister said today his government would ask Germany for permission to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine – and planned to send them whether or not Berlin agreed.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky desperately wants the German-made Leopard 2 tank to break through Russian lines and recapture territory this year.

Germany's foreign minister had said on Sunday that Berlin would not stand in the way if Poland wanted to do so. However, a German government spokesperson said on Monday that Berlin had still not received any requests to authorise the re-export of the tanks.

'Pressure makes sense, because this weekend, the foreign minister of Germany sent a slightly different message that gives a glimmer of hope that not only Germany will not block (sending tanks) but will finally hand over heavy equipment, modern equipment to help Ukraine,' Morawiecki said.

'When we speak about what is happening in Ukraine – it is a war, not a hybrid one, almost a real war, that the West has been plotting for a long time against Russia,' Lavrov said today.

'The goal is to destroy everything Russian, from language to culture, that has been in Ukraine for centuries and to prohibit people from speaking their mother tongue,' Lavrov claimed, parroting the same line that Vladimir Putin has used since the beginning of the war.

Meanwhile, Lavrov claimed Russia did not 'refuse negotiations' with Ukraine and it was the West who stopped the peace talks.

'It is well known that we supported the proposal of the Ukrainian side to negotiate early in the special military operation and by the end of March, the two delegations agreed on the principle to settle this conflict,' Lavrov said.

'It is well known and was published openly that our American, British, and some European colleagues told Ukraine that it is too early to deal, and the arrangement which was almost agreed was never revisited by the Kyiv regime.'

'But those who refuse must understand that the longer they refuse, the more difficult it is to find a solution,' Lavrov said.

Officials in Moscow have blamed the closure of diplomatic channels on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has said he will not negotiate while Russian leader Vladimir Putin is in power.

Despite the public overtures, the Kremlin has so far shown little willingness to soften its approach on the ground.

Meanwhile, Lavrov claimed Russia did not 'refuse negotiations' with Ukraine and it was the West who stopped the peace talks.

'It is well known that we supported the proposal of the Ukrainian side to negotiate early in the special military operation and by the end of March, the two delegations agreed on the principle to settle this conflict,' Lavrov said.

Officials in Moscow have blamed the closure of diplomatic channels on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has said he will not negotiate while Russian leader Vladimir Putin is in power.

Despite the public overtures, the Kremlin has so far shown little willingness to soften its approach on the ground.

Russia has repeatedly rejected Ukrainian and Western demands that it withdraw completely from Ukraine as a condition for any negotiations. US President Joe Biden has indicated he would be willing to talk with Putin if the Russian leader demonstrated that he seriously wanted to end the invasion.

A close ally of Putin said on Sunday that deliveries of offensive weapons to Kyiv that threaten Russia's territories would lead to a global catastrophe and make arguments against using weapons of mass destruction untenable.

Meanwhile Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, warned that the United States and NATO's support of Ukraine was leading the world to a 'terrible war'.


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