Lavrov Slams 'Western-Centric Order' For Establishing A 'Neo-Colonial Orientation'
12:42 12.05.2023 (Updated: 10:48 03.08.2023)
Lavrov's statements come as part of his video address to participants of the 11th St Petersburg International Legal Forum entitled 'Fundamentals of International Law and Order vs Rule-Based Order: the Future of International Law'.
Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, has criticized the unipolar model of the world order, invented by the US and its Western satellites.
His remarks came while he was delivering his welcoming speech to participants in the 11th St Petersburg International Legal Forum, and the top diplomat noted that although the "rule-based order" the West has invented is interpreted differently each time, it is imposed as binding.
"These 'rules', which simply cannot be legally binding, are invented by Washington and its allies in their inner circle and interpreted each time by themselves. Then they impose them on the international community as binding. Dissenters are punished by various illegitimate instruments - from force to defamation in the information space," Lavrov said.
Lavrov also pointed out that this order has a distinctly neo-colonial character, implying the division of the world into a select few who have some kind of "exceptionalism" and everyone else who is obliged to follow the interests of the "golden billion".
"Acting in the worst colonial traditions, Western elites are trying to split the world into 'democracies' and 'authoritarian regimes'. The quintessence of the 'exceptionalism syndrome' was the frankly racist statement of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell that 'Europe is a garden of Eden and the rest of the world is a jungle'," Lavrov remarked.
In addition, Lavrov characterized the Western order
as having double standards, where the West makes up the rules as it goes along to its own advantage. Bearing this in mind, the diplomat insisted that people had the right to self-determination and cited Kosovo and Russian regions that have declared their desire to reunite with Russia.
"When it suits the West, the right of peoples to self-determination is the absolute rule. Suffice it to mention the seizure of Kosovo from Serbia without any referendum, as well as the former colonial possessions retained by Paris and London in spite of many UN decisions," Lavrov said.
"When the principle of self-determination is opposed to the geopolitical interests of the West - as, for example, in the case of the free expression of will of the residents of Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions in favor of unity with Russia - the West not only forgets the doctrine, but also angrily condemns the choice of people and punishes them with sanctions," Lavrov added.
The Foreign Minister noted that attempts by the West to accuse Russia of violating international law are cynical, since the Western countries did just the same thing in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, unleashing wars of aggression. He added, that Western countries openly abuse the norms of international justice where Russia is concerned.
"The [International] Court of Justice [part of the UN structure] has not resisted pressure from the collective West and has so far ordered provisional measures. In parallel, more than 30 countries, belonging mainly to the European Union and NATO, are trying to join the process on the side of Ukraine," Lavrov said. "We consider such actions as blatant abuse of court procedures, an attempt at open pressure and blackmail."
Furthermore, the Foreign Minister called the International
Criminal Court (which is not part of the UN) a "pseudo-court" which has become "an obedient tool" in the hands of the Anglo-Saxon continuing to demonstrate "political bias, inefficiency and unprofessionalism".
"Its involvement in regional plots has never contributed to the political resolution of conflicts, but only exacerbated them," Lavrov noted.
At the end of his speech, the diplomat stated that Russia has consistently advocated adherence to international law, the key source of which remains the UN Charter, and the strengthening of legal and democratic principles of inter-state relations.
On 17 March, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Putin and the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, citing the alleged "unlawful transfer of population [children] from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation".
Lvova-Belova has repeatedly emphasized that the children were transported voluntarily from the combat zone for their security and that many of them, whose homes are now safe, had already been returned.
Moreover, the Kremlin said Russia is not party to the ICC and the court's decision is legally null and void for the country and the warrant for the "arrest" of Russian President Vladimir Putin puts pressure on Russia.