Lavrov on Swiss and Chinese Peace Plans: 'A Hedgehog and a Trembling Doe Cannot Be on the Same Team'

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.12 - 2024 1:52 PM CET

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov contrasts the peace approaches of Switzerland and China.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov provided a stark assessment of the different peace proposals for Ukraine presented by Switzerland and China.

Speaking after the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Minsk, Lavrov drew a vivid comparison, likening the Swiss and Chinese approaches to trying to match "a hedgehog and a trembling doe in one harness," according to a report by BELTA.

Diverging Approaches to Peace

Lavrov detailed that the Chinese proposal focuses on addressing systemic security issues across the common space, aiming to resolve the root causes of the conflict in Ukraine, which he described as a long-prepared hybrid war initiated by the West using "the hands and bodies of Ukrainians."

“Only by eliminating these root causes (says the Chinese approach), can we seriously consider an agreement that will take into account the legitimate security interests of all parties,” Sergei Lavrov clarified.

In contrast, Lavrov criticized the Swiss plan, implying it merely follows directives from the United States and its allies, thus lacking compatibility with the Chinese approach or Russian expectations.

Russia's Security Proposals

The Russian Foreign Minister reiterated the proposals Russia made in December 2021, which echo statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2007 Munich Security Conference.

These proposals advocate for the indivisibility of security, including non-expansion of NATO and other security assurances, which have been longstanding issues for Russia.

“We repeated this in 2008, in 2010, we agreed in the OSCE on the indivisibility of security. The West, at the highest level, solemnly committed itself that no party, no organization in the OSCE space would lay claim to dominance. But in reality is engaged in exactly this very dominance,” Lavrov stated.

Lavrov also touched on the broader implications for Eurasian security, claiming that the Chinese approach aligns with Russia's philosophy on ensuring security across the entire continent, encompassing Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and other areas.

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