The reaction of Western countries to Russia’s recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) was expected. This is how Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Ministry’s Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova assessed the statements of the West.
The situation on the contact line in Donbass escalated on the morning of February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reported the most intense shelling from Ukraine in recent months. They caused damage to a number of civil infrastructure facilities.
On Friday, the heads of the LPR and DPR Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin announced the evacuation of residents of the republics to Russia in connection with the growing threat of hostilities. On Saturday, general mobilization began in the LPR and DPR. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the recognition of the sovereignty of the DPR and the LPR. Also, agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were signed between the leaders.
The collective West and especially the USA reacted expectedly aggressively. The USA has already imposed sanctions on the two republics of Donbass, threatening Russia with the next, more severe steps towards the country. Lavrov stressed that Western colleagues have become accustomed over the past decades to “hang all the troubles” on the Russian side.
“Our European, American, British colleagues will not stop and will not calm down until they exhaust all their possibilities for the so-called ‘punishment of Russia,” he said.
The Minister noted that Russia is threatened with “the mother of all sanctions”, that is, extremely tough new restrictions.
“We know that sanctions will be imposed anyway, in any case. For a reason and without a reason,” he concluded.
Lavrov also stated that in the last year and a half, Ukraine began to declare aloud that in fact, Russia is a party to the conflict, Kiev is not obliged to speak directly with Donetsk and Lugansk, but it is necessary to talk with Russia, because “they do not decide anything.”
“I would like to draw attention to such outrageous positions voiced by European colleagues. In any other conflict that is considered in one way or another by the UN (and the Minsk agreements were approved by the UN Security Council and the resolution clearly states that Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk are parties), the West does not reject the principle of direct dialogue between countries,” he stressed.
It was also referred to the fact that by virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the Charter of the UN, “all peoples have the right to freely determine their political status”, as well as to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and “every State is obliged to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter.”
The similar to Lavrov’s position was stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, answering the relevant question.
“Let’s go back for some time because now the main question is what to expect, how do they react in the West, and so on. Didn’t we know how they would react? Of course, we knew. And I think the last two months have been extremely revealing. They lied, they lie and they will lie,” the diplomat said.