‘Russia will not yield to western pressure’

Moscow, Jan 27 (IANS) Russia intends to build relationships with western countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, and it will no longer yield to external pressure, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here.

“Our western colleagues sometimes say that there will be no more ‘business as usual’ with Russia, and I am convinced that this is true,” Lavrov said during his annual press conference broadcast online on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

“(Such statements by western countries) imply attempts to impose on us agreements that take into account primarily the interests of the European Union or the US, and to persuade us that they would not damage our interests. This story is over,” the minister said.

Lavrov said that Russia was implementing structural reforms and substituting imports in order not to be dependent on “zigzags” in western politics.

Meanwhile, Moscow remains open and ready to cooperation with the West, but only on the basis of equality and all other principles of international law, he said.

Mentioning NATO’s eastward expansion close to the Russian border and the establishment of the US’s global missile defence system in Europe and Northeast Asia, the Russia’s top diplomat said such “unconstructive and dangerous” policies are “short-sighted and destabilising.”

Attempts to reverse this situation have been met with poor results, he added.

The minister also noted that a unipolar ideology can no longer dominate international politics.

“The world is leaving behind the epoch of the total domination of the West and is now in a long transition period to a more stable system, where there will be no single pole of domination,” Lavrov said, adding that the emergence of a truly multi-polar world may take a “long and painful period as old customs take a long time to fade away.”

With regard to Russia’s relations with China, he considered it a model of international cooperation.

“It is in fact the best in the history of relations between our countries and our peoples … There is no other country with which we have such an extensive network of cooperation mechanisms,” Lavrov said, hailing the ties as “systemic” and having led to “impressive results”.

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