Lavrov says Arab-Russian cooperation forum to be held soon

MENA , Sunday 24 Jul 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the League of Arab States Council that Russia and Arab states are planning to organise a six-way Arab-Russian Cooperation forum as soon as possible.

Sergey Lavrov
In this handout photo released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses the Arab League organization in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, July 24, 2022. AP


The forum has convened five times before, said Lavrov on Sunday, who is currently visiting Cairo at a start of an African regional tour from 24-28 July.

In remarks in front of the Arab League (AL) Council, the top Russian diplomat greatly appreciated what he called "a balanced, just and responsible stance" of the league’s member states regarding the Ukrainian crisis.

The Russian foreign minister reviewed the latest developments in the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, saying that Moscow welcomes dialogue with friends in the Arab League and other parts of the world.

Russia has nothing to hide, Lavrov stated.

The West has neglected Moscow's legitimate concerns about its security starting with the expansion of NATO, which is getting closer to Russia's borders despite promises made to the Soviet Union before its dissolution, as well as mobilising former members of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, to join the alliance, he added.

Kyiv has been provided with various weapons, with plans to establish some military bases in Ukraine to be used against Russia, Lavrov said.

No promises made to Russia have been fulfilled since 2014, he added.

The status of the Russian language in Ukraine was abolished and a declaration of intentions to eliminate the Russian presence in Ukraine was issued, he further added.

The Russian foreign minister affirmed the importance of adhering to the Minsk Agreement, which preserved Ukraine as a single state enjoying sovereignty and territorial integrity, with a special status granted to Donetsk and Luhansk. 

The Minsk Agreement has been weakened for seven years, Lavrov said.

NATO was insistent on expansion regardless of the interests of Russia and other countries, he added.

Ukrainian bombing continued against the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk instead of giving them special status according to the Minsk Agreement, Lavrov told the Arab League Council.

The flow of arms to Ukraine continued, and we realised that the Minsk agreement would not be implemented. So, we had no other choice but to recognise the declaration of independence of Luhansk and Donetsk, sign cooperation agreements with them and provide them with military assistance to protect their peoples from any violations or attacks, he added.

The Ukrainian military operation against Luhansk and Donetsk developed in a very specific way, as Kyiv adopted several laws prohibiting the Russian language in education, media and daily life, as well as introducing administrative penalties for those who use it in any local office or shop, Lavrov said.

Russian culture is eroding in Ukraine just as it happened in Latvia, Estonia and other parts of the European Union, he added.

The Russian foreign minister said his country was determined to help the citizens of eastern Ukraine to be able to freely use their language and practice their culture, traditions and family values.

The Russian military operation in Ukraine continues, without closing the door to negotiations, he added.

During the military operation, Russian forces discovered dozens of laboratories where research and biological activities were being carried out with the aim of manufacturing a biological weapon, Lavrov said.

Russia has insisted on transparency in everything that America and its allies do in the field of military biological activities because they have hundreds of laboratories all over the world, including in Asia and South America, he added. 

The Russian and Ukrainian peoples will continue to live together, and of course, Moscow will help the Ukrainian people get rid of the regime that is hostile to their own people and history, Lavrov said.

Reviving and reusing Hitler's criminal practices in the modern world will, of course, fail, he added.

Lavrov insisted that the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is not the only cause of the global food crisis.

Difficulties in the food market started with the coronavirus pandemic that put supply chains in trouble, and then Americans and Europeans printed trillions of dollars worth of currency to buy food, medicine and other goods, he added.

The Russian Navy announces on a daily basis that there are safe paths for the export of grain to other countries even before the recent agreement in Istanbul, he further added.

The world is at the beginning of dangerous changes in multilateral arrangements, Lavrov warned.

More countries are moving to use local currencies in trade exchange and depend on supply chains that have nothing to do with the US behavior, he added.

It will take a long time, but we are at the beginning of a new era that is moving towards true multilateralism and not the multilateralism that the West is trying to impose on the basis of the exceptional role of Western civilisation in the modern world, Lavrov said.

A multipolar democratic world will be forged, he added.

Lavrov affirmed his country's determination to boost its partnership and trade cooperation with the Arab League.

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