Lavrov Diplomatically Blasts Tillerson
by Stephen Lendman
Lavrov is a world-class diplomat, shaming his Western counterparts.
Tillerson is still transitioning from Big Oil to diplomacy, clearly out of his element, amateurish and dishonest compared to Lavrov’s professionalism and integrity.
In his opening remarks during their April 12 meeting, Lavrov raised concerns about deplorable bilateral relations, saying they “provoked many questions (about) Washington’s confusing and sometimes openly contradictory ideas on the entire range of bilateral and international issues.”
“Moreover, these statements have been issued alongside some alarming actions, notably the illegal attack against Syria. Mr Tillerson, we discussed this in a telephone conversation.”
“President Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders have expressed their principled position on this issue. We consider it crucially important to prevent a repetition of such actions in the future.”
“(W)e have reaffirmed our readiness for a constructive and equal dialogue and cooperation based on respect for the legitimate interests of the other.”
“This has been our consistent policy that is fully in keeping with international law and does not depend on current trends or a false choice, such as ‘you are either with us or against us.’ “
Russia rejects bullying, other forms of pressure, and outrageous demands.
At his annual 2014 tour de force press conference, Putin criticized Western countries, blasting their imperial priorities, their hostility toward Russia, saying:
“They will always try to chain the bear. And once it’s chained, they’ll rip out its teeth and claws.”
"The nuclear deterrence, speaking in present-day terms. As soon as this happens, nobody will need (the bear) anymore.”
"They’ll stuff it and start to put their hands on its Taiga (Siberian forest belt). We’ve heard statements from Western officials that Russia owning Siberia (isn’t) fair.”
"The problem of modern international relations is that our partners refuse to stop. They think they have won.”
"Do we want relations on an equal basis? Yes, we do, but on the condition that our national interests are respected, in the sphere of security and in the sphere of economy.”
He blasted America’s empire of bases “all over the world, and you’re trying to say that we’re being aggressive.” Russia has only two foreign bases, he explained. The Pentagon’s military budget is over ten times Russian spending.
“Do we place our troops at US borders” Putin asked? “Who is placing NATO troops (strategic missiles and other) military infrastructure closer to us?”
“Does anyone listen to us, talk to us about it? No, nothing. There is always the same response. It’s not your business.”
“We have always stood for collective action. We consider it counterproductive to stand behind the closed doors of alliances and ‘misalliances.’ “
“Of course, we have put forth this position to our American colleagues before, and this is well known in Washington and to you, Mr Tillerson,” Lavrov continued.
“For our part, we need to understand the position of the United States and the practical intentions of the US administration. We hope to move forward on these issues today.”
These were his opening comments before both officials met privately for detailed discussions.
He, Putin and other Russian officials are justifiably furious about Trump’s aggression, his betrayal of trust in the early days of his administration - concerned about what comes next.
More attacks on Syria are virtually certain. How Russia responds is unknown. Inaction is not an option.
Intercepting and destroying America’s cruise missiles, along with its attacking aircraft would send the only message Washington understands. Diplomacy wastes time, accomplishing nothing.
On Wednesday afternoon, Putin met with Tillerson and Lavrov. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to explain what they discussed.
It easy imagining, Trump’s aggression on Syria the key topic. Putin surely criticized it, much like he did publicly, calling the April 4 incident a “false flag,” Trump’s response lawless “aggression.”
Tillerson surely pressed Lavrov and Putin to end support for Assad, knowing the response he’d get.
How do you say no in Russian? иди к черту is go to hell.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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