Sergey Lavrov: Western Sanctions Aimed at Toppling Russian Regime
The West does not even conceal its "anti-Russian" sanctions are aimed at toppling down the ones in power, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned Saturday.
Lavrov explicitly said Russia was "not going to shoot itself in the leg" by renouncing cooperation with Europe, "but everybody understands that "business as usual" [the latter phrase said in English] is already impossible."
As a session of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy kicked off, Lavrov said that previously measures imposed on other countries such as Iran or North Korea had been adopted in a way not harming that much the social and economic sphere and affecting only the countries' elite.
Lavrov alleged that the West deemed "necessary" to place sanctions on Russia so that they "destroy the economy and cause protests," ITAR-TASS quoted him as saying.
At the same tile Russia's top diplomat said sanctions were not only affecting Russia, but also the countries that brought them forward.
"Alas, our partners, willfully or not, chose the second path" of action against Russia, while the first could have brought Russia and the West closer together, ITAR-TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.
Russia's Foreign Minister however ended on a higher not voicing his belief that the current period could be overcome and the lessons from it would be learned with the two countries able to seek a "new basis" for their relationship.
He even pointed out that the idea of a EU-Customs Union free trade area earlier put forward by President Vladimir Putin was no longer perceived as an "exotic" one.
In Lavrov's view, a single economic and humanitarian space should be created between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Community (also known as the Eurasian Union) as well.
Russia is currently subject to sanctions imposed over the situation in Ukraine, the breakaway of Crimea and Moscow's alleged involvement in the developments across the country's Donbass region, where pro-Russian activists have seized control of some areas.
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