Lavrov’s open challenge: “Let’s sort it out on the battlefield”

Russian chief diplomat Sergei Lavrov has accused Western countries of “directly” opposing Russia because of their expression of support for Ukraine. “No matter how you call it, they are facing us, they are directly opposing us,” Lavrov said during a UN General Assembly in New York. “Some call it a hybrid war, but that doesn’t change the facts,” he emphasized, drawing attention to financial donations, weapons and “irregulars” from the West. Lavrov spoke about US involvement in Ukraine at a wide-ranging press event at the United Nations.

“Let’s sort it out on the battlefield.”

As Bloomberg reported, Lavrov announced that if Ukraine’s partners wanted a conflict, Russia was ready to face it on the battlefield. “If you insist on the battlefield, OK, let’s decide it on the battlefield,” Russia’s Foreign Minister is quoted by Bloomberg. Lavrov’s statements came to light at a United Nations media event shortly after Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Biden’s position

Joe Biden, the US President, has consistently indicated that he wants to avoid a direct exchange of blows with Russia and will not deploy American troops. He and his administration have also denied any responsibility for Ukrainian attacks on Russian targets. European countries and the United States, which have sent weapons to Kiev since Russian interference in February 2022, strongly emphasize that they are not at war with Russia but are simply supporting Ukraine’s defense efforts.

Lavrov’s view of Western support

In contrast, Lavrov cited billions of dollars in arms aid to Kiev and the involvement of British and American intelligence services as well as the presence of Western military experts in Ukraine. According to Lavrov, the West is “de facto against us and is using the Ukrainians for their own purposes.” Lavrov made the comments on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, where the main focus was on Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky had appealed for more support against Russian interference. At a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, Zelensky accused Moscow of a “criminal” attack and “genocide” in his country. He also called for Russia to be deprived of its right to veto in the Security Council. Interestingly, Lavrov entered the meeting room only after Zelensky’s departure.

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