The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said today that the war between Russia and the West is no longer hybrid but is “almost real” as he criticized Western nations for providing billions of pounds in armaments to Ukraine.
Western allies have vowed to deliver a large quantity of armaments to Kyiv, and Poland’s prime minister announced today that his country will request Germany’s authorization to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, and will do so regardless of Germany’s response.
The Ukrainian government is desperate for the Leopard 2 tank, manufactured in Germany, to burst past Russian lines and regain territory this year.
Today, Lavrov asserted that the struggle between Moscow and the West could no longer be described as a “hybrid war” and was closer to being a “real war.”
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said today that the war between Russia and the West is no longer a hybrid conflict but is “almost real” as he criticized Western nations for delivering billions of pounds worth of armaments to Ukraine.
Last week, Western allies promised billions of euros in arms for Kyiv, and today, Poland’s prime minister announced that his country would request Germany’s approval to send Leopard tanks (pictured) to Ukraine, and would deliver them regardless of whether Berlin consented.
His remarks during a visit to South Africa came as Poland’s government today urges its Western partners to expedite the delivery of additional military equipment to Ukraine to resist Russia’s invasion.
Polish officials have previously suggested that Finland and Denmark were willing to join Poland in sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine, while the United Kingdom has offered to send Challenger tanks.
Lavrov also asserted that Moscow was eager to talk with Ukraine in the early months of the conflict, but that the U.S. and other Western governments discouraged Kiev from doing so.
Lavrov’s words during a visit to South Africa were similar to those made by Russian President Vladimir Putin last year, namely that his country was open to negotiations but Ukraine’s Western supporters stopped this from occurring.
The United States and other Western nations have asserted that Russia is not serious about negotiations to end the conflict, which will approach its one anniversary next month.
Lavrov stated, “It is well-known that we supported the Ukrainian side’s proposal to negotiate early in the special military operation, and by the end of March, the two delegations reached an agreement on the principle to resolve this conflict.”
“It is widely known and was published publicly that our American, British, and some European colleagues advised Ukraine that it is too soon to negotiate, and the almost-agreed-upon arrangement was never revisited by the Kyiv regime.”
Russia has repeatedly rejected Ukrainian and Western demands that its complete withdrawal from Ukraine be a prerequisite for discussions. President Joe Biden has shown his willingness to speak with Vladimir Putin if the Russian leader demonstrates a sincere desire to cease the invasion.
In the midst of the current turmoil in Ukraine, Lavrov is in Pretoria for talks with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor. Russia is attempting to enhance ties with Africa’s most prosperous nation and a longstanding ally.
South Africa was viewed as the most influential of several African nations that took a neutral stance on the war and refused to condemn Russia’s invasion, much to the dismay of the United States and other Western partners who view South Africa as essential to their plans to build relationships in Africa.
Lavrov met with Pandor in the capital of South Africa and is set to visit further African nations during his tour. This is Lavrov’s second trip to Africa in the past six months, as Russia seeks backing.
Monday in Pretoria, South Africa, Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, is greeted by his South African counterpart, Dr. Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
During Lavrov’s discussions with Pandor, the conflict in Ukraine and its effects on Africa’s 1,3 billion inhabitants, including rising global oil and food prices, are anticipated to take center stage.
Pandor stated, “We are fully aware that conflict, wherever it exists in the world, has a negative impact on all of us, and as the developing world, it has a particularly negative impact on the African continent.” This is why South Africa repeatedly expresses its willingness to help the peaceful resolution of disputes on the continent and throughout the world.
As a result of the Soviet Union’s support for the African National Congress when it was a liberation organization striving to remove the apartheid regime of repression against South Africa’s Black majority, South Africa maintains close ties with Russia.
This relationship is the primary reason why South Africa abstained from a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s activities in Ukraine last year.
Despite South Africa’s stated neutrality regarding Ukraine, Lavrov’s visit occurs days after the South African armed forces revealed that they will conduct joint drills with the Russian and Chinese navies next month near the country’s eastern coast.
Lavrov’s journey to Africa was closely followed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s travel to South Africa, which was viewed as an effort by the United States to counter growing Russian influence on a strategically significant continent.
This time, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited Senegal and Zambia before to a Wednesday-beginning formal visit to South Africa.
This is breaking news, and there will be more to come…