Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Photo: Reuters)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States on Monday of plunging the Middle East into chaos and fueling the rise of extremists because of its drive to dominate the world.
Lavrov leveled the fierce criticism of Washington's policies at a special UN Security Council debate on maintaining international peace and security.
The foreign minister cited the US-led air strikes in Syria, the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2011 military intervention in Libya as examples of "violations of the fundamental principles of the United Nations."
"All of this is the result of attempts to dominate global affairs, to rule over all, everywhere, to use military force unilaterally to push one's interests," Lavrov told the 15-member council.
"These have plunged the Middle East and North Africa into instability and chaos, and to a large extent have created a breeding ground in which extremists thrive," he said.
Russia and the United States have been at loggerheads over the war in Syria, with Moscow supporting President Bashar al-Assad and opposing US air strikes against Islamic State targets.
Lavrov did not mention the United States by name, but his remarks made clear he was targeting the US administration.
The foreign minister spoke of "unsavory methods" being used such as "regime change" and "open support for the unconstitutional state coup in Ukraine a year ago."
Russia has repeatedly accused the United States and its western allies of having engineered the ouster of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, which triggered the separatist upheaval in Crimea and east Ukraine.
Lavrov said the Security Council was either used as a body to "rubber stamp" decisions made in Washington or was sidelined altogether from its primary role of maintaining peace and security.
"Do we really want to see the Security Council as an effective instrument for peace and security or are we ready to turn it into an area for propagandistic confrontation," he asked.
The foreign minister spoke to the council as Ukraine accused pro-Russia rebels of massing forces near the port city of Mariupol despite a ceasefire agreement reached between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.