“We will be ready for larger-scale provocations too. But our answer is very simple – if they talk to us through the media, we will respond through the media too, but specifically and in a correct manner,” Lavrov said, answering questions from RT France, Paris Match and Le Figaro.
Going further, he said a third world war is an unimaginable scenario, noting that “everybody would be sane enough not to let it happen.”However, an aggravating factor is the absence of any dialogue between the Russian military and NATO.
Tensions are still high between the two, Lavrov said, citing the recent mid-air incident in which a Spanish fighter jet accidentally released an air-to-air missile during a training mission in Estonian skies. “Thank God, there were no casualties, but what if it would have landed on Russian soil? Everything is so close there.”
It all comes as the US is updating its nuclear doctrine, the top diplomat stated.
They’re creating low-power nuclear weapons with a clear intent to potentially use them in combat.
The toxic political climate in European capitals and Washington makes mending ties extremely hard, Lavrov added. While the European Commission remains “trapped” by countries opposing reconciliation with Russia, the American elites are also fueling tensions. “I think it’s silly to remain hostages to the whim of American lawmakers,” he said.
While the West continues to slap Moscow with sanctions and trade cuts, Russia’s relations with Beijing and other Asian powers are on the rise. “We needed to compensate for the low level of economic cooperation with Europe,” the foreign minister explained. “And we saw growing opportunities for that in China, India, Japan, Korea.”
China, after all, is Russia’s major international partner, he noted.
We never had such relationships with China, like we have now.
Previously, Lavrov lashed out at the West while addressing the UN General Assembly. Some Western powers try to preserve their “self-proclaimed status as world leaders” and have no qualms about putting pressure on others, he said at the time.
Although he did not list the countries, he said they use “political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force.” The world now “has to pay a high price for these selfish ambitions by a tiny group of countries,” according to Lavrov.
Urging the world community to prefer dialogue over pressure, he suggested: “Colonial-era diktat and coercion should be sent into the archive or the dustbin of history.”