When Lavrov speaks, world listens. This is not an exaggeration. So much for a "regional power" he represents. But even when Lavrov says something to a talk-show host such as Vladimir Solovyov, news gets around. Full interview (in English) you can read at Russian Foreign Ministry' site. As Reuters reports:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked in an interview published on the ministry's website on Friday whether Moscow was moving towards cutting ties with the EU. "We proceed from the fact that we're ready (for that). In the event that we again see sanctions imposed in some sectors that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive spheres," Lavrov said. "We don't want to isolate ourselves from global life, but we have to be ready for that. If you want peace then prepare for war."
Zakharova later reiterated the point (in Russian) and... the tempest in the teacup has been unleashed.
A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said "these statements are really disconcerting and incomprehensible."
I, frankly, do not find them such at all, because they are realistic and reflect present state of the relations between combined West and Russia. Some other EU "diplomats" tried to elaborate on the recent Borrell's mission to Russia and continued to speak about EU "values". But that is the problem, Russia doesn't share those "values", because she wants to avoid turning the country into Sodom and Gomorrah and a mental asylum. You know my position, I was calling for Iron Curtain 2.0, especially in cultural field, for years now. So, Russia doesn't fit EU's "values", so be it. What's the problem? Nations, cultures, civilizations differ--it is a normal state of the affairs. Russia IS NOT modern combined West and thank God for that.
For anyone who still thinks that Russia does "good cop-bad cop" routine, this is not it. Internal Russian dynamics is such that, as I point out constantly, the scale of revulsion and contempt for EU and US is unprecedented historically. This has nothing to do with "Putin's propaganda" but with this very rejection of Western "values", not to mention West's arrogance and Russophobia. Only imbeciles in EU can continue to think about themselves as an attractive civilizational model. Russians travel a lot and many do make their own conclusions on the state of the affairs in the West. Plus, Russia is a much-much freer country than any EU member and even the United States which is moving inexorably towards totalitarianism. So, why should Russia "value" the EU? Economy? Sure, even during the Cold War 1.0 USSR traded actively with Western Europe, especially West Germany, so this MO can be re-instituted again. EU needs Russia's hydrocarbons? Sure, let them pay--they will get it. Simple as that. Nothing personal, just business and EU better get used to it, if not--well, Russia has a lot, and I mean a lot, of business in Asia. And yes, Russia is ready across the board to cut ties with EU. Lavrov meant what he said. As Russian proverb goes: насильно мил не будешь--you cannot make one like you by imposition.
In related news from NATO. Eat this Russia.
Nato should examine how it can power tanks and jets with alternative energy, such as solar panels, to reduce its carbon emissions, the alliance’s secretary general said. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels would also make troops less vulnerable to attack because they would not have to rely on long supply lines getting fuel to the front line, Jens Stoltenberg said.
Kremlin is preparing the proclamation of unconditional surrender as I type this, because Russian Armed Forces and many civilian localities in Russia sustained severe hernias due to a wide-spread hysterical laughter upon learning of the possibility to face M-1 Abrams driven by electricity from solar panels. Actually, adding the wind turbine on the top of its turret is another great idea. You know how harmful those exhausts are to soldiers during large-scale combined arms operations. God forbids to be blown up by thermobaric explosive while having one's lungs exposed to tanks' exhaust. So harmful.