Russia's Lavrov Declares Western Europe an Unlikely Partner for the Next Generation

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.19 - 2024 10:42 AM CET

Russia will not consider Western Europe a partner for at least a generation, declares Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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In a recent statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that Russia will not consider Western Europe a partner "for at least a generation."

High-ranking Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly characterized the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kyiv as a proxy war waged by NATO against Russia.

The Kremlin points to the substantial material aid, training, and intelligence support provided by the United States and several European countries to bolster Ukraine's defense.

During his Saturday speech, Lavrov cited an article by Russian political scientist Dmitry Trenin, who stated, "Europe as a partner will not be relevant to us for at least a generation."

Lavrov affirmed this perspective, noting that Moscow feels the reality of this outlook "almost daily." He alluded to various factors supporting this prognosis without providing specific details.

"The acute phase of the military-political confrontation with the West continues at full speed," Lavrov said, emphasizing the prevailing narratives in the U.S. and Europe.

A Diplomatic Breakdown

In an interview with the TASS news agency, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov likened the Western elite to delinquent youths and provocateurs, accusing them of escalating tensions to the brink of "catastrophic collapse" without regard for the consequences.

Ryabkov also revealed that Russian diplomats are operating in "crisis management mode" to prevent the escalation into a significant conflict. He expressed Moscow's deep mistrust of NATO, stating that the alliance provokes a "political and even emotional rejection" in Russia.

Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November, Ryabkov sees no chance for improvement in U.S.-Russia relations, given the "fundamental anti-Russian consensus" among the American elite.

Putin's Conditional Open Door

Despite the harsh rhetoric from his ministers, President Vladimir Putin maintained that Moscow does not reject dialogue with Western nations.

In his inauguration speech, Putin posed a question to Western leaders: "Will they continue to try to restrain Russia's development, pursue a policy of aggression and relentless pressure, or will they seek cooperation and peace?" He suggested that the choice lies with the West, leaving the door open for potential dialogue.

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