The Western world will see a “very serious reduction” in its ability to “steer the global economy” in the near future and will have to negotiate with Russia, according to the country’s foreign minister.
Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister since 2004, made the comments on Monday, according to Russia CASS Press Agency.
He said: “In the near future, we will see a reduction in the opportunities of the West, a very serious reduction in the opportunities to run the world economy as it wishes, and whether it likes it or not, we will have to negotiate .”
Lavrov said Russia would step up cooperation with other powers as Western nations had “severed almost all relations” since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which the The Kremlin calls it a “special military operation”.
He said Russia “is not going to chase after the West” and added: “We are going to focus on those who have never let us down and with whom we have sometimes reached very difficult compromises. But when they were obtained, no one was ever wrong. With the West, everything is exactly the opposite.
The argument that an era of Western dominance is coming to an end has been a popular talking point for senior Russian politicians in recent months.
In October, President Putin spoke at a conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, a Russian think tank, organized to discuss “a post-hegemonic world”.
He claimed that the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 had led to a Western-dominated world order where “only its will, its culture, its interests had the right to exist”.
Putin continued, “Now this historic age of absolute Western supremacy in world affairs is coming to an end. The unipolar world is stepping back into the past.”
While definitions of “the West” vary, they almost always include the economically advanced nations of North America, Europe, and Oceania. Sometimes parts of Central and Latin America are also included, as well as advanced Asian democracies such as Japan and South Korea.
The Ukrainian government claims more than 100,000 Russian soldiers were killed since Putin launched his invasion, although this figure is unverified. Officially, Russia only admitted the death of less than 6,000 soldiers.
In November, General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Russian military had seen around 100,000 killed and wounded since the beginning of the war, the Ukrainian army “probably” has a similar figure in addition to civilian casualties.
On Monday, three Russian soldiers were killed by a drone attack on the Engels-2 air base, home to many Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers deep in the country. According to Moscow, the drone was successfully intercepted with the men killed by drone fragments, although this has been questioned by some independent experts.
On December 25, the Russian state-controlled network Rossiya-1 aired an interview with Putin, who argued that these who do not want to suffer for Russia are not “true patriots”.
He said: “As for most – 99.9% – of our citizens, our people who are ready to sacrifice everything for the fatherland, that does not seem unusual to me.
“But it reassures me again that Russia is a special country and has special people.”
As an Orthodox country, Russia celebrates Christmas on January 7, rather than December 25 in the west.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.
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