Translation and commentary by NSS
Here is another example of why reading the non-Western press (or NSS) is the only way to know what is happening in the world.
CNN was one of the participants in the Januarly press conference held by Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. CNN spun it into a rebuke of Trump, stating:
“Lavrov criticized the US for issuing regular "threats" in relation to events in North Korea and Iran, saying they had ‘further destabilized’ the global situation.
“He did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but the US President has issued stern threats to North Korea and Iran, sending a series of fiery Twitter posts attacking the leadership in both nations.”
The important part is what CNN omitted, namely, that states around the world are stockpiling arms to counter US aggression, that the US is stuck on military force as the response to all ills, and that the US is planning to break up Syria by isolating vast territory at the border with Iraq and Turkey. Perhaps the CNN reporters were taking potty breaks during these statements. Ya think? Russia ought to know about countries arming themselves: They sold a record amount of arms to Middle Eastern and North African countries last year – countries which themselves or whose neighbours had been devastated by the US and its allies over the past few years.
Our translation of a report by TASS. Note the difference from the CNN report.
Lavrov: Russia will continue to seek justice in the world, despite growing tension
Politics January 15
An increasing number of states are betting on building up military power, wherein they "see almost the only guarantee of preserving their sovereignty," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
MOSCOW, January 15. / TASS /. Russian diplomacy will continue to uphold the principles of fair and equitable cooperation in 2018 and oppose the world's slide into chaos and confrontation, despite the growing tension surrunding such key international issues as the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the nuclear deal with Iran, as well as the general tendency to increasingly resort to military power. This was the message of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a major press conference on Monday.
As expected, the main issues raised by media representatives were: Russia's relations with the United States, the situation in Syria, Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula, the prospects for the JCPA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action relating to the Iranian nuclear program). There were also unexpected questions, for example, a Finnish journalist asked about who started the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. Lavrov advised him to consult with historians.
Another unusual issue was not about foreign policy, but about the future plans of the minister in connection with the forthcoming presidential elections in March. "for my part, I'm not used to doing anything except ensuring the maximum efficiency of our ministry, this is my main task now," he said, advising him to consult the Russian Constitution for further answers on the formation of the future government.
Major press conference
The Russian Foreign Minister traditionally meets with journalists in early January. The main topic of the press conference is a summary of the past year’s results. However, the minister, as a rule, assigns only a small part of his speech to the results of the efforts of Russian diplomacy during the previous 12 months and prefers to answer questions from the press, who are interested not in past Russian foreign policy but in its current tasks and approaches, and in its plans for the future. This time the introductory part took less than 10 minutes of a press conference lasting about two and a half hours.
About 100 journalists from Russian and foreign media attended the press conference. A total of about 30 questions were asked on various issues of international relations. Among the journalists were UNIAN, BBC, CNN, and Estonian media.
According to the journalist of the newspaper Kommersant, Elena Chernenko, a significant interest in the press conference is due to the fact that "I always want to hear what results the minister personally sums up for himself over the past year, and what he will say about plans for the future." "Such events give an opportunity to analyze the foreign policy results of the past year in general and for themselves," she added. "That's why they cause such excitement, and there are always a lot of people here."
The difference from previous years was the serious tone of the press conference. Lavrov had never missed the opportunity to joke about an acute international issue, but this time he did so only once: answering the question of the journalist of the TV channel Rossiya 24 about what phrases, in his opinion, characterize the past year, the minister said that they will not be called, "otherwise they will not understand".
Staking everything on force
The situation in the world, as Lavrov described it, leaves little room for jokes. "We are witnessing the devaluation of international law, the weakening of the role of multilateral institutions, we are also seeing the desire of an increasing number of states to build up military power, which they see, in the current situation, as almost the only guarantee of preserving their sovereignty.”
Responsibility for this situation, in his opinion, rests with the United States and its allies who "still want to conduct business solely on the basis of dictates and ultimatums, do not want to listen to the views of other centres of geopolitics and, in fact, do not want to recognize the reality of an emerging multipolar world." Their methods are the deployment of a global missile defence system, unilateral sanctions, extraterritorial application of legislation, and a desire to "solve any international problem exclusively according to their own scenario, without stopping at anything, including the use of brute military force."
Special tension in the situation in recent months, as the minister noted, is caused by Washington's threatening statements on the DPRK and the Iranian nuclear deal. The situation is sliding towards confrontation and chaos, the minister said, and Russia will make efforts to prevent this.
Strengthening US presence
One of the leitmotifs in Lavrov's speech was the strengthening of the US presence, including military, in various regions of the Earth and in outer space. In particular, the minister expressed his fears that the US will have access to the management of Aegis Ashore missile defense complexes after their deployment in Japan, and in connection with Washington's plans for the militarization of outer space. In Central Asia, in the format of C5 + 1 (the United States, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), there is as yet no talk of a military presence, although the minister believes that geopolitical goals may be hidden behind the declared interests of economic interaction.
The minister drew attention to the fact that Washington does not always act honestly in achieving its goals, including in matters of energy, the military-industrial complex, the media and sports. But Moscow has a response: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has finished preparation for judicial procedures in a lawsuit over the situation concerning Russian diplomatic property at the instructions of President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov said.
The threat to Syria’s integrity
Washington's actions have a dangerous impact on the situation in Syria. "Now the actions that we are observing show that the United States does not want to preserve the territorially integrated Syria," Lavrov said. "Just yesterday, a new initiative was announced whereby the US wants to help the so-called the Syrian Democratic Forces create certain border security zones. By and large this means the isolation of a vast territory along the borders with Turkey and Iraq."