US ‘has Europe under their control’ says Sergei Lavrov
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The 72-year-old, who like his boss is subject to UK sanctions, has also accused Britain of “looking for an excuse” to send a fleet to the Black Sea to supervise grain exports. Lavrov speaking though a translator at a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi during his visit to the south-east Asian country.
His comments will rankle, given Russia has itself been accused by Western countries of breaching international law through its invasion of its neighbour on February 24.
European Union leaders have urged Moscow to abide by an order by the international court of justice telling Russia to withdraw.
Referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Lavrov said: “Vietnam is a key partner of Russia in ASEAN and the two countries’ relations are based on history and their common fight for justice.”
Vietnam and Russia have close ties dating back to the Soviet era and Hanoi has not so far condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine, which Moscow insists is a “special operation”.
Lavrov’s visit to Hanoi comes as the two nations mark the 10th anniversary of their “comprehensive strategic partnership”.
The Russian Foreign Minister is due to fly on to Indonesia to attend a meeting of G20 foreign ministers this week.
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Lavrov has cited international law in previous speeches, not least one delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 in response to the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal.
He said: “It is hard for the West to put up with its weakening centuries-long dominance in world affairs. “Attacks on international law are looming large”
Social media users were quick to point out the apparent contradiction between Lavrov’s words and Russia’s actions.
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Riitta Karmeniemi said: ”Haha Lavrov doesn’t understand international laws and Putin either.”
Othmar Brunner said: “Russia’s Lavrov calls for efforts to protect international laws – that is funny coming from him while invading a free country and killing thousands.”
Speaking to Russian state television on Sunday, Lavrov turned his attention to Britain as he addressed the issue of Russia’s apparent blockade of the Black Sea, which is disrupting global exports of grain.
He said: “This food crisis is used for various purposes, and not only in the field of propaganda to shine Ukraine’s image and hold Russia responsible for everything.
“If you listen to the statements of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Foreign Secretary, it is clear that they are trying to create the conditions necessary for the Royal Navy to infiltrate the Black Sea and be able to manage all grain transfers from ports mined by Ukraine”.
This morning it emerged that Ukraine had asked Turkey to help investigate three Russian-flagged ships in line with Kyiv’s attempts to probe alleged grain theft from Russian-occupied territory, according to official documents.
In a previously unreported June 13 letter, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office asked Turkey’s justice ministry to investigate and provide evidence on the three named ships it suspects have been involved in transporting grain allegedly stolen from recently occupied Ukrainian territories, such as Kherson.
All three large dry bulk carriers – Mikhail Nenashev, Matros Pozynich and Matros Koshka – are owned by a subsidiary of a Western-sanctioned Russian state-owned company called United Shipbuilding Corporation, according to Equasis, a shipping database.
The Russian company has not responded to a request for comment.
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