New ‘iron curtain’ descending between Russia and the West: Lavrov | Russo-Ukrainian War
Moscow’s foreign minister said the “process has begun” for a new “Iron Curtain”, and he warned the West to “behave with caution”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a new “iron curtain” was falling between Russia and the West.
Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine in February sparked an overhaul of Europe’s defense and security policies, led to NATO’s historic northern expansion with Sweden and Finland joining , saw the imposition of harsh sanctions on Russian goods and services and hardened anti-Russian sentiment across the continent.
Speaking at a press conference in Belarus on Thursday, Russia’s foreign minister said the “process has begun” for closing a new iron curtain between Russia and its western neighbours.
“As for the Iron Curtain, it’s almost already falling into place,” Lavrov said.
“Let them behave with caution,” he said of Western countries in their new relationship with Russia.
Lavrov added that Moscow has had no relations with the European Union since 2014, when Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.
The foreign minister also said Moscow would not trust Washington and Brussels “from now on.”
“The EU is not at all interested in understanding our interests,” Lavrov added.
“She is interested in what has been decided in Brussels. And what was decided in Washington was decided in Brussels.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, the West slapped Russia with several rounds of unprecedented sanctions.
The United States and Canada, which depend far less on Russia as an energy supplier than Europe, have banned all imports of Russian oil.
The European Union, however, has only introduced a gradual oil embargo as part of its sanctions against Moscow, although Group of Seven (G7) leaders said on Wednesday they had agreed to explore a ceiling Russian oil prices.
The war also created a global food crisis, causing the prices of grain, cooking oil, fuel and fertilizer to skyrocket.
Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies, while Russia is also a major global exporter of fertilizers and Ukraine is a major exporter of corn and sunflower oil.
Moscow says Western sanctions against it are to blame for the worsening global food situation.
The sanctions do not directly target Russian grain and fertilizers, but Russian exports have been hit hard due to the difficulty in arranging transport, insurance and financing.