Highlights From Russia's FM Lavrov Presser at BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting

© Sputnik . Grigory Sysoev / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press conference following the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Nizhny Novgorod.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press conference following the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Nizhny Novgorod. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 11.06.2024
The meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers took place in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod on June 10-11. The Russian Foreign Minister discussed many topics on the sidelines of the forum, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the conflict in Ukraine, and BRICS relations with the West and other countries.
Russia considers unacceptable the number of Palestinian civilians who have lost their lives in Israel's recent operation to free hostages in the Nuseirat refugee camp, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"Just as we reacted to the terrorist attack of October 7 and the methods that Israel used in response, I find it unacceptable that to save innocent lives, hundreds and hundreds of other innocent people are being sacrificed," Lavrov told reporters after the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.

Moreover, the Israeli operation must be stopped immediately, and after the humanitarian problems are resolved and a ceasefire is achieved, it is necessary to begin creating the State of Palestine, which requires a corresponding UN decision, Lavrov added.

“We proceed from the fact that this operation must be stopped immediately, a ceasefire must be ensured, and an urgent solution to the most difficult humanitarian problems must be ensured,” he said.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor before the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Nizhny Novgorod. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.06.2024
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Speaking of conflicts, Lavrov noted that none of the BRICS members supports the West's aim to defeat Russia on the battlefield of the Ukraine conflict.
The majority of BRICS delegations slammed the protectionist trade policies of the United States and its allies, noting low levels of development funding, Lavrov said.

"The figures in question stand in stark contrast to the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars and euros to the Kiev regime to continue the war against Russia that the West has been preparing for years and is now trying, as it claims, to defeat us on the battlefield. Such sentiments are not supported by any of the members of BRICS and the countries that cooperate with this association," the diplomat told a press conference after the BRICS ministerial meeting.

Furthermore, Russia sees attempts by Western countries to carry out nuclear provocations and opposes them, but Moscow is not part of any alliance with Beijing or Pyongyang, Lavrov said.

"As for the arsenals of China, North Korea, and the strategic arsenals of Russia, we are in no way united in an alliance. In this sense, we are united only by the fact that all three countries have been declared targets of the aggressive policy of the United States and its allies," Lavrov pointed out, adding that Russia opposes "playing the nuclear card" by the West.

The United States is sure that if it provokes a nuclear war, only Europe will suffer from the consequences, while Washington will benefit from the situation, the minister added.
"Here is the answer to the question of how the United States feels about Europe. They are sure that if they provoke a nuclear war, which they are actively engaged in, only Europe will suffer. And they, as always ... will be the winners," Lavrov said.
Continuing to the topic of Western actions, Lavrov said that he and his Venezuelan counterpart, Yvan Gil, signed a memorandum on cooperation in countering US sanctions by establishing secure financial logistical mechanisms.
"[The signed memorandum] will contribute to the collective work," Lavrov said at the meeting with Gil on the sidelines of the forum.
The Russian minister reaffirmed that the two countries have long-standing good relations and are effectively cooperating in energy and medicine.

"And the most important direction — [we] are creating financial logistical mechanisms, resistant to external influence and facilitate the defense of our relations from the US and its allies' illegitimate actions," Lavrov added.

Being at the BRICS Ministerial Forum, it was impossible not to discuss the topic of the bloc’s development. Russia's top diplomat said BRICS is not cutting itself off from the rest of the world; on the contrary, the group is interested in equal and just cooperation with the West.

"BRICS is not isolating itself from the rest of the world. On the contrary, BRICS has objectively emerged as a group of countries that are interested in justice on the world stage. BRICS is not vying to become some sort of pole, as there will be many more poles in the polycentric world," Lavrov told a press conference following the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting.

The countries of the bloc have opportunities to communicate with the West within the framework of the United Nations, but the US and its allies usually prefer a unilateral approach, Lavrov said.
"If the West realizes the need for an equal dialogue with the rest of the world, I assure you that the BRICS members and other countries of the world majority will be ready for it, but, of course, it will be necessary to agree on the terms on which to conduct this dialogue," he added.
However, the bloc is looking forward to developing relations not only with the West but with the whole world, which includes deepening its ties with regional organizations that promote "balanced international cooperation based on equality."
"We believe it is important to deepen ties between integration-oriented structures that operate on the regional level and our international BRICS group. This will help to gradually harmonize approaches to the agenda of all these associations in a mutually respectful manner," he said.
Lavrov noted that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the African Union, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States were some of such groupings.