New York – Russian foreign minister has criticised the ‘Summit for Democracy’ proposed by US President Joe Biden as part of a ‘Cold War mentality’ and said it could divide the international community into opposing blocs. Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also criticised US foreign policy. In a press conference held after his address to the General Assembly, the Russian minister also expressed his displeasure over Turkey’s policies.
Last month, US President Biden proposed the ‘Leaders’ Summit for Democracy’. The conference will be held in December with an initiative from the United States. The White House has said that the challenges faced by democracies and international cooperation will be discussed at the conference. This conference will be a virtual summit; the United States will be selecting the participating countries. Analysts claim that the US is trying to create a front for countering the growing dominance of Russia and China, and the Summit for Democracy is a part of it.
Although the Biden administration offered democracy and cooperation as reasons for the summit, the Russian foreign minister accused it of having a different motive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has criticised the conference saying, ‘The United States will select the countries participating in the conference. The quality of democracy in the participating countries will be determined by US standards. The face of this initiative is similar to that of the Cold War era. The aim of the conference seems to be to create a new ideological struggle against dissidents or people expressing displeasure.’
‘The United States claims that it does not want to divide the world on ideological grounds. However, undertakings such as the Democracy Summit show that the United States intends to create a divide. The Democracy Summit is a step towards dividing the world between us and them’, the Russian Foreign Minister said. The past few months have seen tensions between the US and Russia over many issues, including cyberattacks, Ukraine and military deployments. Lavrov’s criticism suggests that tensions are unlikely to ease in the near future.
Meanwhile, after addressing the UN General Assembly, the Russian foreign minister attacked Turkey at a press conference. A few days ago, Turkey, while reacting to the elections in Russia, claimed that the elections in Crimea were invalid. Even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned that Turkey would never recognise Russia’s occupation of Crimea. Against this background, Lavrov targeted Turkey. ‘Turkey does not seem to have the proper understanding and professionalism at the foreign policy and political level. The Russian Foreign Minister lashed out that the Crimea issue is now over; those who work professionally know it.
Lavrov also raised the issue of the Syrian conflict and supported Russian attacks in Idlib. The Russian foreign minister adopted an aggressive stand that there will be no compromise regarding counterterrorism operations on Syrian soil.