Sergey Lavrov, the longtime foreign minister of Russia who was once photographed pressing a literal relationship “reset” button with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, dedicated the opening of his annual press conference Monday to berating the U.S., telling reporters that it has “destabilized” the world by routinely issuing threats to perceived enemies abroad.
Citing President Donald Trump’s violent language to Iran and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un without referring to Trump by name, Lavrov summed up U.S. foreign policy by saying that while it “quite plainly says that the military confrontation is inevitable [...] everyone understands the catastrophic consequences of such recklessness,” according to a partial transcript of the speech published by USA Today.
Lavrov continued by arguing that the Trump administration, in refusing to acknowledge the shifting power dynamics of an increasingly multipolar world, has prompted other countries to strengthen weapons programs, defy political norms, and subvert international law. The speech continued:
The methods the [U.S.] resort[s] to to contain their rivals are, for the most part, rather dubious and unscrupulous. ... Their range is wide, from deploying a global missile-defense system to unilateral sanctions, extraterritorial use of their legislation and threats to tackle any international issues in accordance with their own scenario exclusively, stopping at nothing, including the use of brute military force.
Unfortunately, our U.S. colleagues and their allies ... do not want to listen to the point of view of the other centers of the global politics.
The speech comes as Lavrov attempts to convince the Trump administration to let him serve as a mediator in talks between the U.S. and North Korea.