Russia's Lavrov Lashes Out at US during Annual Press Conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said threats coming from Washington in 2017 had "seriously aggravated" tensions in different parts of the world. (AFP photo/Yuri Kadobnov)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said threats coming from Washington in 2017 had "seriously aggravated" tensions in different parts of the world. (AFP photo/Yuri Kadobnov)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attacked the U.S. in an annual press conference Monday, accusing Washington of issuing ultimatums and failing to recognize "the reality of the emerging multipolar world".

Lavrov said the past year had not been easy from a foreign policy perspective as he took questions on Syria, Ukraine, the Korean peninsula and other global issues, in a diplomatic round-up of 2017.

"Unfortunately, our American colleagues and their allies still want to do business solely on the basis of issuing ultimatums and do not want to listen to the views of other centers of world politics," he said when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's position on the Iran nuclear deal.

"In fact they do not want to recognize the reality of the emerging multipolar world," Lavrov said.

Trump last week said the U.S. would not reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran for now, but would withdraw from the deal this year unless its terms were changed.

"(The Americans) resort to methods that are, largely, questionable and unscrupulous, in order to contain their competitors," Lavrov said.

"They use a number of these methods, from deploying a global missile defense system to unilateral sanctions, to the extraterritorial use of their own legislation or threats to resolve any international problems solely according to their own scenario."

Lavrov also said threats coming from Washington in 2017 had "seriously aggravated" tensions in different parts of the world, including in North Korea.

As Trump prepares to mark a year in power, Lavrov said the actions of the current U.S. administration were in some cases "more assertive" than under Barack Obama, "despite Trump's line during the election campaign."

The U.S. was afraid of fair competition in various areas, including energy and the supply of gas to Europe, Lavrov said, adding that Washington was failing to contribute to the resolution of the conflict in Syria.

Russia launched a military intervention in Syria in 2015, propping up President Bashar al-Assad's regime after a revolt was crushed by a brutal crackdown.

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