At UN, Russia Calls West 'Empire of Lies'

Sergey Lavrov dismisses proposals for peace in Ukraine, restarting grain deal
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2023 4:55 PM CDT
No Deal on Grain or Ukraine Peace, Russia Tells UN
An American delegate listens as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday at UN headquarters.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Russia's foreign minister denounced Western nations generally and Ukrainian peace proposals and attempts to revive the Black Sea grain initiative specifically at the United Nations on Saturday. Sergey Lavrov called the Kyiv government's 10-point peace plan "completely not feasible," Reuters reports. If Ukraine and its Western allies don't budge from the proposal, he said, the matter will be settled on the battlefield. "It's not realistic and everybody understands this but, at the same time, they say this is the only basis for negotiations," Lavrov said, per the Guardian.

Lavrov similarly dismissed UN proposals to reopen the corridor for Ukrainian agricultural exports as "simply not realistic." Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had listed four steps the UN could take to urge Russia to rejoin the deal and get grain and fertilizer moving again to combat the global food shortage. Lavrov said Saturday that Russia had abandoned the agreement because it was made promises that weren't kept, involving ending sanctions on a Russian bank. "We explained to the secretary general why his proposals won't work," he said.

The diplomat included a big-picture attack on Russia's opposition, nations that he said are preventing the creation of "a genuine multipolar world order," per the AP. "The US and its subordinate Western collective are continuing to fuel conflicts which artificially divide humanity into hostile blocks and hamper the achievement of overall aims," Lavrov told the General Assembly. "They are trying to force the world to play according to their own self-centered rules," he added, calling the West "an empire of lies." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had told the UN on Tuesday that it's Russia that's weaponizing food, energy, and children against "the international rules-based order." (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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