Staunton, April 30 – Having threatened Stockholm with unspecified military responses if Sweden joins NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says in an interview with “Dagens Nyheter” that Russia’s “Christian culture” makes it impossible for Moscow to continue to pursue “business as usual” with the West.
Such an approach, the Russian diplomat continues, is “absolutely impossible because this business ‘as usual’ as it is understood in the West, in the EU and in NATO means only one thing: that we all should and must above all become like they are” (fokus.dn.se/lavrov/ and mid.ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2258885).
And the West’s “everything is permitted” approach “contradicts the fundamental bases of our culture, which is based on the Orthodox religion, on Christianity,” Lavrov continues.
In other comments, he says, Russia will depend on itself alone, something that “thanks to God, the Lord and our ancestors,” his country has sufficient resources to be self-sufficient. It will no longer depend on purchases abroad, an approach that Lavrov is Russia’s “strategic course.”
He insists that “this does not mean isolation, and when ‘Western partners’ decide to return to normal behavior” – presumably a reference to an end of sanctions, “this will give additional chances for growth and the development of cooperation … but on all essential things, we will now depend only on ourselves.”