Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia does not want a continent-wide war in Europe, but added a note of caution surrounding the intentions surrounding the Western governments supporting Ukraine.
“If you are concerned about the prospect of war in Europe, we absolutely do not want this, but I draw your attention to the fact that West constantly insists that Russia must be defeated in this situation. Draw your own conclusions,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov appeared to be referring to comments like those from US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said last month that Washington wants “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”
Russia has continually tried to justify its invasion of Ukraine as a fight against Ukrainian neo-Nazis and NATO’s expansion into eastern Europe, forces that, according to the Kremlin, pose an existential threat.
Lavrov has previously alluded to the danger of a wider war — even a nuclear one — rhetoric that US President Joe Biden called “irresponsible.”
Energy exports: Speaking alongside Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi following talks in Muscat on Wednesday, Lavrov said that Moscow has enough buyers of its energy resources, as the European Union considers banning Russian oil imports.
“We have enough buyers of our energy resources. We will work with them and let the West pay them much more than it paid to the Russian Federation and explain to its population why they should become poorer,” he said.