Lavrov slams West, deriding EU as Biden's 'choir'

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, denounced Sunday the EU and U.S. as trying to dictate world order to suit their whims and force Russia and China into following the Wests lead.Lavrov's long manifesto was published in Russian in Kommersant and English in Russia in Global Affairs. It was just days after the high-stakes summit between Presidents Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, and Geneva raised hopes of new cooperation, and perhaps an end to years ago of severely deteriorating relations between Moscow, Russia, and the West.He seemed to deny any possibility of this new reality. He wrote that Washington and Brussels were, without any pretense of modesty, an anchor for democracy and peace, and security, and not authoritarianism. They declared their intention to use sanctions to support democracy around the world. "Lavrov's article was published days after the European Council summit, in which 27 heads of government and state adopted uncharacteristically tough conclusions. This set the stage for Putin's government to begin the process of reopening diplomatic relations. After a heated debate, the leaders agreed to their statement. The Baltics and Poland led a successful effort against a proposal from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for new outreach towards Moscow.Lavrov criticized EU leaders in his article as if they were just backup singers for Bidens. These song sheets were given to them during meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels and at NATO headquarters in Washington before the Biden-Putin summit. He also complained about how U.S. officials began imposing new demands on Moscow immediately after Geneva. If Russia does not comply, they would apply increased pressure and even further sanctions.Lavrov wrote that the Big Brothers sentiment was immediately picked up by European capitals and they did so with great gusto and relish. Their statements basically state that they are open to normalizing their relations with Moscow but only if it behaves differently. It's almost as if a choir was pre-arranged to follow the lead singer.Lavrov made false accusations against the West, accusing them of hypocrisy for trying to dictate their worldview to Moscow or Beijing. He also claimed that NATO, the U.S. and the EU had supported the coup in Ukraine in 2014. After months of protests in Kyiv, President Viktor Yanukovich left the country. He had broken a promise to sign an agreement for economic and political cooperation with the EU.Lavrov didn't mention Russia's foreign malign activities, such as cyberattacks or election meddling. He also referred to only the 2014 invasion of Crimea and its annexation by Russia, as well as Russia's continued financial and military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine as attempts to defend the rights of Russians.Lavrov did not mention Alexei Navalny as an opposition figure, even though he was the victim of an assassination attempt. He was also taken into custody and sentenced after he returned to Russia from Germany.Lavrov instead noted that Putin's repeated stance that Russia would not bow to Western sanctions was well-received and warned Western capitals that this view was widespread among the Russian electorate.Lavrov stated that there have never been unilateral concessions since late 1990s, and they will not be. Let us meet and discuss ways to reach a mutually beneficial agreement in order to reach fair and equitable solutions.Lavrov, who has been based in New York for many years, is well-versed in United Nations Security Council procedures and a skilled negotiator. However, Lavrov can be a bit cynical, and even sarcastic, to the point where he defies reality. He argues that citizens should be prepared to forgo Italian Parmesan cheese in order to send a geopolitical message.Lavrov reiterated Putin's call for a summit of the five permanent members to the Security Council China France Russia Russia the U.K and the U.S. This is a format Moscow long prefers, but some analysts believe it is too old. He said that Russia was willing to talk and not buy from Western capitals.Lavrov stated that we will continue to be open to honest dialog with anyone who shows a willingness to reach a mutually beneficial balance of our interests. These are our rules.