The West has declared a “total hybrid war” against Russia and it is hard to predict how long it will last, Moscow’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov disclosed.
Lavrov intimated that the consequences of the war in Ukraine will be felt around the world. However, while speaking about the sanctions levelled on Russia, he warned that “Western politicians should understand their efforts to isolate our country are in vain. In addition, Lavrov accused Western nations of stealing the assets of other countries, which made them lose their reputation as reliable partners.
“In the future, the world economy will be de-Americanised”, he said in a speech on the 80th day marking Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Pointing out that “We did everything to avoid a direct clash – but now that the challenge has been thrown down, we of course accept it”.
“We are no strangers to sanctions: they were almost always there in one form or another.”Moscow’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov
What Invited Russia’s Response?
His comments came after a meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers took place on Saturday, May 14, 2022, which saw the nations sign a statement saying they will continue to put economic pressure on Russia.
The group, which is made up of the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, also backed the decision of giving more aid and arms to Ukraine and expediting its efforts to “end reliance on Russian energy supplies”. In a joint statement by the G7 Members, it noted that “We reaffirm our determination to further increase economic and political pressure on Russia, continuing to act in unity”.
Putin’s Warning to Finland
On the other, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has warned Finland’s Leader that abandoning neutrality would be a “mistake” but that there are no security threats to the country’s capital, Helsinki.
But in response, President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, told Mr. Putin that his demands for countries to avoid joining NATO, together with the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, have changed Finland’s security environment. In a readout of a phone call between the two leaders, Finland’s President said: “The conversation was direct and straight-forward and it was conducted without aggravations. Avoiding tensions was considered important”. But Russia’s Kremlin described the call as a “frank exchange of views”, normally a diplomatic euphemism for a difficult conversation.
Already, Finland’s NATO membership bid is expected to be followed by a similar move from Sweden. An expansion of NATO would be a blow to Mr. Putin, who undertook the war in, what he said was, a bid to thwart the alliance’s Easterly consideration.
Justifying the Need to Join NATO
Finland’s European Affairs Minister, Tytti Tuppurainen, while discussing the country’s bid to join the NATO alliance, averred it is “ready to carry out its responsibilities for the security of Europe”. In responding to a question on whether Finland is playing a dangerous game by going against Putin’s warning, Tuppurainen said: “Absolutely not”.
Rather, she pointed out that “We are in a different situation since Russia started its ruthless and illegal war in Ukraine”. She further explained that “it is time” for Finland to “get allies and to get more partners”, but it does not “intend to provoke anyone”.
“It’s about security. We have a neighbour which we have seen is able to act and wage a very ruthless war. We are prepared for all kinds of nasty measures against us but there is absolutely no panic and we are not afraid. We have been preparing for all kinds of actions and this is about our own decisions. Putin is to blame and this is one of the consequences of his game.”Finland’s European Affairs Minister, Tytti Tuppurainen