Russia has revealed its broad-level geo-strategic aims with its Ukraine operation vis-a-vis the United States and NATO in a Rossiya 24 TV interview with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov stressed that ultimately Russia's invasion which began on Feb.24 has put an end to the US-dominated order, forcing Washington to retreat from its unipolar vision of the world where it reigns supreme. "Our special military operation is meant to put an end to the unabashed expansion [of NATO] and the unabashed drive towards full domination by the US and its Western subjects on the world stage," Lavrov said in the interview which aired Monday.
"This domination is built on gross violations of international law and under some rules, which they are now hyping so much and which they make up on a case-by-case basis," he said further.
He suggested that in the lead-up to the invasion of Ukraine, the US was not dealing with other powerful countries as "equals" but that it ignored the legitimate security concerns of Russia and others, and thus Moscow was not ready to submit to its will.
Lavrov further called out EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for his recent statement while meeting with Volodomyr Zelensy. Borrell said "This war will be won on the battlefield." The statement suggested that the West is pushing the Ukrainians away from the idea of a negotiated settlement and ceasefire.
Despite recent Zelensky statements offering neutrality on the question of joining NATO, negotiations have made little actual progress, typically devolving into accusations and counter-accusations in the aftermath of each session.
Lavrov slammed the Saturday statement as "outrageous" and pointed out Borrell's position is supposed to represent EU diplomacy:
"When a diplomatic chief … says a certain conflict can only be resolved through military action… Well, it must be something personal. He either misspoke or spoke without thinking, making a statement that nobody asked him to make. But it’s an outrageous remark," Lavrov said.
The top Russian diplomat went on to explain that he thinks a more militaristic confrontational approach has taken root among EU officials due to the influence of Washington, which is using the war to stoke a standoff with Russia. This will in turn discourage progress in direct Ukraine-Russia ceasefire negotiations...
Lavrov stressed further that Moscow is still interested in negotiating peace. Interestingly, his comments come as Zelensky himself is again lashing out at NATO for being "weak" - as it long pushed Ukraine to stand up to Russia yet is now refusing to "close the sky" - or impose a no fly zone.