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Russia Ready for Mutual Security Guarantees in Case of a Peaceful Settlement in Ukraine, Says Lavrov

Russia is prepared to guarantee the legitimate security interests of other participants in the process for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, provided it receives similar guarantees in return, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced in an interview published by Izvestia newspaper on Friday.
According to Lavrov, the 12-point peace proposal put forward by Beijing in February 2023 contains sensible considerations and has received a positive response from Russia. He contrasted this with what he described as the "senseless formula" of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from a diplomatic perspective. The Chinese document analyzes the causes of the events and emphasizes the necessity of eradicating them. It identifies the lack of security order in Europe and globally, attributing it to the failure to enforce the United Nations Charter a viewpoint that aligns with Moscow's, Lavrov stated.

Lavrov highlighted a clause in the Chinese document that points out unilateral sanctions, which the West started resorting to actively well before the commencement of the "special military operation," as irritants that need to be eliminated.

The Russian Foreign Minister stressed the need for an agreement that ensures equal security for all participants in the process. He underscored that practical application of these principles could only be understood through negotiations not based on conditions of the "peace formula" echoed as an ultimatum by Zelensky and his supporters in Europe, London, and the United States, but through a serious analysis of existing security issues, acknowledgment of the realities on the ground, and by guaranteeing the legitimate security interests of the Russian Federation. "We are ready to guarantee the legitimate security interests of the other participants in the process," Lavrov affirmed.

Lavrov referred to "realities on the ground" that everyone is aware of, including the situation at the battlefield and the legitimate interests of the population in Novorossiya and the Donbas region.

He also pointed out that the West is "suspiciously active" in asserting that the attack on the Crocus City Hall cultural center in Krasnogorsk was perpetrated by the Islamic State terrorist organization, excluding Ukraine from suspicion.

While the investigation is ongoing with new developments surfacing, Lavrov mentioned, "We have no right to exclude the obvious scenarios." He noted that the accused fled to Ukraine upon their detention.

Lavrov shared his view that Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg in the confrontation between Moscow and Western nations. The stated goal of the latter is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and isolate it along its borders. Russia is called upon by the United States to engage in dialogue on strategic security, but from Moscow's perspective, this can only be under the condition of equality between the parties and certainly not amidst the direct confrontation in Ukraine.

Finally, Lavrov expressed Russia's willingness to engage in dialogue with the United States regarding the bilateral exchange of prisoners, basing on the agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and American President Joe Biden from Geneva in 2021.
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