Russian’s Lavrov calls top US, EU diplomats ‘cowards’ for skipping meeting of European security body

MOSCOW (AA) : Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed the EU and US top diplomats on Friday for skipping a Ministerial Council meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, calling them “cowards.” 

Lavrov said at a news conference in the North Macedonian capital of Skopje that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken left the event because they were “afraid of an honest talk” at the 57-state forum.

“Neither the Ukrainian minister nor the ministers from Poland and the Baltic states were present at this event. Blinken and Borrell also left, as I understand it. Why is this happening? They probably think that by doing so, they emphasize their intention to isolate Russia,” he said, adding, “I think they’re just cowards, afraid of any honest conversation with the facts.”

According to the minister’s assessment, due to this fear, Western countries deny visas to Russian diplomats attending international events on their soil.

“This is elementary cowardice. In two years of the West’s hysterical hybrid war against Russia, we have seen that Western countries do not have clear and sane arguments,” he alleged.

When asked about the possibility of peace talks with Ukraine, Lavrov said Moscow sees no indications of readiness for a political settlement from Kyiv or Western countries.

In response to a question about what military threats Russia sees on Ukrainian territory, the top diplomat said that plans to build a British navy base in the Sea of Azov and a US base in the Black Sea, are “unacceptable under any circumstances.”

Lavrov chastised Western countries for their unconstructive approach to the OSCE’s work, saying that rather than trying to solve the current crisis, they are more concerned with extending the mandates of some administrative officials who have directly violated the organization’s principles.

When asked if the chances of saving the OSCE have improved following the meeting in Skopje, Lavrov replied, “The chances have increased, but not for OSCE preservation.”

North Macedonia hosted the two-day OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, which concluded on Friday. It was attended by some 40 countries.