Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that the topic of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks has turned into "a plot" against Moscow.
Speaking at a roundtable on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict with the participation of ambassadors of 35 countries in Moscow, Lavrov said the West is trying "to turn everything upside down."
"There is a real plot around the topic of the so-called (peace) negotiations, as well as attempts to turn everything upside down through pseudo diplomacy," he said.
Russia is ready to respond to all serious initiatives on the Russian-Ukrainian settlement, and this position has not changed, he said and added that "all the balls" regarding the organization of the process between Russia and Ukraine are on the side of Kyiv.
He said the problem is that instead of promoting a fair process, the West is trying to pull the countries of the global majority towards supporting Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s initiative, which he called a "peace formula."
"The West has been saying for months that this 'peace formula' is the only basis for negotiations. It starts from innocent topics ... and then comes to the purpose for which it was concocted – inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia, to restore the borders of Ukraine as they were in 1991, court-martial the Russian leadership, force Russia to pay reparations, and then 'mercifully' agree to sign a peace agreement," he said.
According to the diplomat the West is trying to persuade the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America to support Zelenskyy's initiative "only in those points that they like," which is "an open deception."
Lavrov described such actions as "an attempt to drag normal countries into an absolutely unrealistic, Russophobic, ultimatum undertaking" with the purpose of using their names to show "growing support."
"These are exactly the dirty methods that the West uses not only in relation to Ukraine but in many other areas of global politics," he criticized.
Commenting on remarks by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said Ukraine would be ready for negotiations when Russia agrees, Lavrov asked whether Blinken knows that Ukraine's president prohibited peace talks with any Russian officials during Vladimir Putin's presidency.
"I hope that countries that come to us with peace initiatives know about this ban," he stressed.
International peace efforts, grain deal
The Russian side is ready to meet with Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, head of the Conference of Italian Bishops, to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, Lavrov said.
The minister reminded that Russia held several meetings with the Turkish and African representatives on Ukraine.
"We appreciate the efforts that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have made without much advertising, primarily in organizing the exchange of prisoners of war," he noted.
"Now the efforts of the Vatican, whose envoy is going to come again, are continuing. We are ready to meet with everyone, we are ready to talk to everyone," he said.
Sergey Lavrov criticized the Ukrainian side for seeking ways to export its grain, which will not lead to the lifting of sanctions on Russia.
"When now some of our colleagues, including the heads of the UN Secretariat, say that everything will be fine with the Russian part of the deal, no one pays attention to the fact that the Kyiv regime claims this -- 'we will never agree to the resumption of this deal in such a way that both Russian grain and fertilizers would be exempt from illegal sanctions'," he said.
The minister also alleged that the US buys out all weapons for sending them to Ukraine with the goal of freeing the market for American arms producers.
"The market is being freed up for the supply of American military products for the rearmament of the EU and NATO countries through the allocation of large funds, and the purchase of American weapons produced by American corporations," he said.
Russia launched its "special military operation" in Ukraine in February last year to "denazify" and "demilitarize" Ukraine, and protect the Russian-speaking population of the neighboring country. The West, however, calls it "a war of aggression."
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