The West severed almost all relations with Russia out of anger at the fact that it dared to defend its fundamental, legitimate interests. This was announced on Friday, June 30, in an interview with the media group “Radio and TV of Portugal” by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The interview was published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“Them [Западом] driven by anger and the understanding that he is losing his dominant position irretrievably. And he is driven by the desire to slow down this process in every possible way, because I think that any politician in the West who thinks a little bit also understands that this process will eventually triumph,” the diplomat said.
Lavrov stressed that Russia “has not closed” and is developing diplomatic relations with Western countries, but only with those who are ready to do it “honestly, on the basis of equality.” He recalled the norms that exist in international law, including the norm enshrined in the UN Charter, which obliges everyone to respect the sovereign equality of states.
“We do not close the doors from the West, the West is trying to isolate itself from us. But if and when sane people come to power there and if they offer us to see how it is possible to expand those contacts that are now preserved, but have practically been reduced to an absolute minimum, we will see what they will have to offer us. And we will react based on our fundamental interests,” summed up the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Earlier in the day, Lavrov said the West could no longer have Russia’s trust in any area, including security. He noted that rather than delving into the reasons why everything happened, it is better to start acting for the future based on existing conditions.
Before that, on June 29, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov explained the reasons for Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). According to him, the Russian Federation withdraws from the CFE Treaty due to the circumstances that put the country at risk. In particular, these include the accession to NATO of new states without their accession to the CFE Treaty, as well as the deployment of conventional weapons of the “old” NATO members on the territories of its “new” members.
At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly emphasized that the CFE Treaty has not reflected the existing realities in the field of European security for several decades. In particular, after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, Russia called for updating the parameters of the treaty, but the United States and other NATO members, under far-fetched pretexts, did not approve the changes and the corresponding agreement on adapting the treaty from 1999.
In addition to the isolation of Russia by the West in terms of political relations and issues of weapons, there is also humanitarian isolation. On September 12, 2022, the visa facilitation agreement between Russia and the European Union expired.
On September 19 last year, Latvia, together with Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, “for security reasons” introduced a ban on the entry of Russian citizens with Schengen visas issued in other EU states. From midnight on September 30, Finland also banned Russian tourists from entering. Later, on June 27, it became known that she had extended the restrictions.
Visa restrictions and border closures for Russians have become a continuation of the sanctions policy of the West against the backdrop of a special operation carried out by the Russian Federation since February 24 to protect Donbass. The decision was made against the backdrop of the aggravated situation in the region due to increased shelling by Ukrainian troops.