Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Sunday that more than $300 billion was robbed from Russia, the bulk of which was payouts for oil and gas deliveries, since energy giant Gazprom was required to deposit money in Western bank accounts.
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The foreign minister addressed a wide variety of issues in ties between Moscow and the collective West in an extensive interview with an Italian television network. In particular, broad sanctions imposed on Russian businesses and the oil and gas industry following the start of Russia’s special military campaign in Ukraine.
“Now we are offered to continue trading as before, and the money will remain with them,” Lavrov said.
When asked why Russia is withholding gas supply, which has alarmed Italy, Lavrov stated that the West might divert funds from Russia at any point if the circumstances remained unaltered.
The foreign minister stated that “nothing changes for buyers,” since they continue to pay the sums mentioned in the contract in euros and dollars, and the conversion will take place later.
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Moreover, Lavrov expressed astonishment that Italy is at the forefront of lobbying for sanctions against Russia, noting that this was unusual given Rome’s close connections with Moscow.
Russia Never Stops Efforts to Prevent Nuclear War
Commenting further about the geopolitical landscape, the threat of nuclear war in face of contemporary developments, and the arms race, Russia’s Foreign Minister stated that Russia has never halted efforts to avert a nuclear war.
According to Lavrov, Moscow was driven to build hypersonic weaponry because the US missile defense system will be focused against Russia.
Russia, as per Lavrov, required weaponry adept at defeating this anti-missile defense.
Lavrov also stated that the US has halted the strategic stability discussion with Russia, in which hypersonic systems were to be considered, thus Moscow must now depend on itself.
According to the diplomat, NATO, the US-led military organization, and the countries that comprise it, have stopped to suit Washington amid the situation in Ukraine, as the alliance seeks to achieve an agreement on the matter.
Last Friday, Lavrov underlined that Moscow does not endanger anybody with nuclear weapons, and that Western countries are the ones that raise the issue.
On February 24, Russia launched a military intervention in Ukraine in response to the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk’s appeal for assistance in defending themselves against Ukrainian aggression. The United States, the European Union, and a number of other nations replied by imposing extensive sanctions on Russia and some of its major banks and corporations, while simultaneously increasing financial and military support for Ukraine.