Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vehemently denied US charges of election interference in a speech at the United Nations on Friday – slamming Washington and its international relations.
“Baseless accusations of interference in the domestic affairs of particular countries are made while simultaneously engaging in an open campaign to undermine and topple democratically elected governments,” said Lavrov.
“[W]e see the desire of a number of Western states to retain their self-proclaimed status as ‘world leaders’ and to slow down the irreversible move toward multipolarity that is objectively taking place,” Lavrov continued. “To this end, anything goes, up to and including political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force. Such illegal actions devalue international law, which lies at the foundation of the postwar world order.”
According to the Associated Press, Lavrov later said that US-Russia relations “are bad and probably at their all-time low.”
He expanded on that at a news conference later, giving examples of U.S. interference that included the U.S. envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volcker, promoting efforts to replace the 2015 agreement reached by leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany to end the violence in eastern Ukraine. –AP
Lavrov also defended the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, proclaiming “we will do everything possible” to preserve it (so the Kremlin is now aligned with former Secretary of State John Kerry in this regard, for those keeping track). The Russian dignitary also slammed the Trump administration’s strikes on Syria.
China, meanwhile, dished out far more restrained criticism of their largest trading partner – with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi defending its trade practices, and stating that China “will not be blackmailed or yield to pressure.”
“Regarding trade frictions, China stands for a proper settlement based on rules and consensus through dialogue and consultation on an equal footing,” Yi said.
Mr. Wang also rejected criticism of China’s actions, and said the nominally communist country has integrated itself into the world economic system.
The Chinese government issued a white paper Monday charging that the U.S. has “brazenly preached unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemony.”
Mr. Wang, however, declined to condemn the U.S. by name, instead espousing the values of international cooperation. –WSJ
“What we need to do is to replace confrontation with cooperation and coercion with consultation,” Mr. Wang said. “We must stick together as a big family instead of forming closed circles.“