“If you want peace, prepare for war!” Sergei Lavrov, 11 February 2021 speaking on cutting relations with the EU
In a televised interview on Russian state television yesterday, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov made this declaration together with the threat to cut relations with the EU if Russia’s vital economic interests were put in danger by any further sanctions they might consider imposing. His remarks were clearly calculated to turn on a light in the thick skulls of EU Parliamentarians, of the EU Commission run by former German Defense Minister von der Leyen, and of her deputy for external relations Borrell.
“Prepare for war” is an old bit of wisdom that we have heard from time to time coming from the Kremlin together with related folk wisdom such as : if you do not finance properly your own army, you will be financing someone else’s army; and if you cannot deal with Lavrov, then you will have to deal with Shoigu (Russian Defense Minister).
I mention these last few remarks, because they all have one source, and that is Vladimir Putin.
Make no mistake about it, the new hard line from Lavrov has been set personally by his boss, who never minces words and means what he says.
The context for Lavrov’s remarks yesterday in an interview with the leading public and governmental affairs television presenter Vladimir Soloviev was the remark earlier in the day by Borrell that he and his colleagues were now weighing imposition of further sanctions on Russia. This follows the perceived humiliation of Borrell at the hands of Lavrov the preceding week during their day-long meetings, which precipitated an outcry from Members of the European Parliament and heads of state. That humiliation was inflicted on Borrell because he carried to Moscow words of chastisement over the imprisonment of the now infamous blogger Alexei Navalny whose supposed poisoning was supposedly ordered by Putin.
Indeed, there is widespread perception among Russian elites that the whole Navalny affair was allowed to run freely for much too long. He should have been imprisoned and the key thrown away a long time ago. Regime change promoters in Washington, in London, in Berlin were given hopes by this inaction from the Kremlin that this time the “regime” in the Kremlin was frightened, was confused and could be shattered – something which had not come about from the long series of operations to discredit and destabilize Russia that we can easily trace back to the period just after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, when Russia stood up to US aggression, alongside France, Germany and Belgium. Those NATO objectors to the pending invasion of Iraq just got a tap on the wrist. The Russians got much rougher treatment that just does not end.. The most salient of these operations were the MH17 shoot-down laid at the Kremlin’s door without proof and the supposed poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury, also based on “most likely” reasoning to which I would respond in very British terms “you would say that, wouldn’t you!”
To anyone with a bit of discernment and neutrality, it is patently obvious that Navalny, who is an ugly, aggressive nationalist peddling tampered ‘fake news’ videos to anti-elite masses would be a threat to world peace if he ever made it to power in the Kremlin. He is nothing more than today’s instrument, a battering ram being used by the USA, the UK, Germany, not to mention the jackals running Poland and the Baltic States to smash the Russian government and apply their knee to the neck of the Russian people, if I may use popular present-day images. Similarly insane policy makers in Washington overdid their support for the Jihadists in Afghanistan in the ‘80s for the sake of pushing out the Soviets, thereby creating what later came back to haunt the United States and Europe in global Islamic terrorism.
Of late, the collective West has become utterly outrageous, obnoxious in its behavior towards the Others. The latest tit for tat with China over news stations is just one other manifestation of this wild behavior that is begging for the slap in the face that Lavrov just administered.
Today’s BBC was busy denouncing China for its cutting itself off from the world by ordering the closure of BBC World transmissions within the PRC. There was barely mention of the announcement by the BBC in preceding days that it was closing the Chinese global news broadcaster in the UK for, as they said, being controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Regrettably, the Brits are behind what is now mutual excommunication and their underlying mentality is what always was best expressed by another bit of folk wisdom: “Fog in the Channel, Continent cut off.”
I cannot say whether Lavrov’s warning will sober minds in Europe, in the USA. But it was made with all due seriousness and life will become pretty miserable for us all if Brussels does not back down and cease its threats and sanctions on Russia over made to order scandals having their authors in Washington.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2021