Sergei Lavrov (Russia’s longest-serving foreign minister) provoked laughter from Indian conference attendees when he tried to portray Russia as the victim in the conflict in Ukraine.
The 72-year old made the bizarre claim that Russia was trying stop the war by addressing the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.
To laughter and groans, he stated that the war against Ukraine, which we are trying stop, was launched using Ukrainian people.
“And the simplest way to explain what has changed is that we no longer rely on the West. He said, apparently referring to the explosions that caused damage at the Nord Stream pipeline in The Baltic Sea in September 2022.
Ukraine war latest: creator of Russia’s COVID vaccine ‘strangled to death’
The veteran politician who has held the post since 2004, however, was not laughing at all. His audience applauded him when he answered questions about the “double-standard” of Western intervention in sovereign countries.
“Have [you] been interested in the past years in what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan?” He asked his interviewer.
The Ukrainian forces are surrounded and begin to withdraw from Bakhmut
What’s next in year two? Experts’ thoughts
Alex Rossi: Vuhledar, Ukraine’s frontline
“[You] believe the United States can declare a threat its national interest in any place on Earth, just like they did in Yugoslavia and in Iraq… and you don’t ask them any questions?”
This mixed reaction is a reflection of how many non-Western countries around the world view Ukraine’s conflict. They see a certain amount of hypocrisy in the West’s different reactions that are dependent on their own interests.
To rally support for Russia, Mr Lavrov has been traveling across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in the past year.
India has been particularly neutral about the war and abstained from voting at the United Nations to end the invasion. Russia has been a long-standing partner in both military and economic terms.