UNITED NATIONS, United States: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) accused the United States of resorting to “military interference” to defend its interests, in a veiled reference to the air campaign in Syria.
“Washington has openly declared its right to unilateral use of force anywhere to uphold its own interests,” Lavrov told the United Nations General Assembly.
“Military interference has become a norm—even despite the dismal outcome of all power operations that the US has carried out over the recent years,” he added.
Lavrov cited the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air campaign in Yugoslavia, the Iraq war, the Libya campaign and the Afghanistan mission as examples of US-led military actions that he said had led to “chaos and instability.”
Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has criticized US-led air strikes on Islamist fighters in Syria as illegal and argued that the West should cooperate with Damascus in confronting the jihadists.
Lavrov charged that the United States and its western allies were portraying themselves as champions of democracy when in fact they were “trying to decide for everyone what is good or evil.”
Russia has sent “large supplies of weapons and military equipment” to Iraq, Syria and other Middle East countries and will continue the military support, he said.
The diplomatic clash over military action in Syria has unfolded against the backdrop of East-West tensions over Ukraine, where pro-Moscow rebels in the east are fighting the pro-European government in Kiev.
Lavrov said Ukraine had “fallen victim” to Washington’s “arrogant policy,” asserting that the United States and the European Union supported a “coup d’etat” in Ukraine that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych in February.
Speaking at the podium of the 193-nation Assembly, Lavrov called for restoring “global priorities” and “avoid making them hostages of a unilateral agenda.”