SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 21 May 2022, Saturday |

Lavrov Visits Oman, Says Russia Does Not Want War in Europe

Stressing that Moscow did not want war in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned Western countries, saying they were keen to see Russia defeated in its military campaign in Ukraine.

Lavrov visited Oman on Wednesday, where he met Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Muscat at al-Baraka Palace.

The Foreign Minister stressed the need to intensify efforts to reach political solutions to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Lavrov said during the press conference after his meeting with Sultan Haitham that Russia and Oman have “identical positions on most international issues,” praising Muscat’s “objective and balanced” position on Ukraine.

The European Union countries announced their intention to sharply reduce their reliance on Russian oil and gas.

Lavrov said that his country has enough buyers for its energy resources outside the scope of Western countries, adding: “Let the West pay more than it used to pay to the Russian Federation, and let it explain to its population why they should become poorer.”

The Omani Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov conveyed to the Sultan the greetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his praise of “the Omani wisdom in dealing with various regional and international issues.”

He also briefed the Sultan on Russia’s vision of the current crisis in Ukraine.

The Sultan confirmed Oman’s commitment to OPEC+, reiterating the need to adhere to the rules of international law and intensify efforts to reach political and diplomatic solutions through dialogue.

The meeting reviewed the cooperation between the two countries, and the common will to develop and strengthen them in various fields serving the interests of the two friendly countries and peoples.

Later, Lavrov met with his Omani counterpart, Badr al-Busaidi, and addressed overall bilateral relations, including political dialogue and economic and trade cooperation.

Lavrov praised Oman’s stance on the Syrian crisis, saying Muscat “can play a role in restoring Syria to the Arab family.”

During a joint press conference, Lavrov said: “If you are worried about the prospect of war in Europe – we do not want that at all.”

“But I draw your attention to the fact that it is the West that is constantly and persistently saying that in this situation, it is necessary to defeat Russia. Draw your own conclusions.”

The Russian minister said that he informed the Omani side about the developments of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and its geopolitical dimensions.

He explained that the objectives of the operation in Ukraine are clear, adding that they aim to “protect the population in the eastern regions of Ukraine, especially in Donbas,” adding that the aim is to ensure Ukraine, with the support of the West, “does not turn into a source of a military threat to Russia.”

Lavrov said that Moscow and Muscat confirmed their full adherence to the principles on which the United Nations was based, indicating that the Russian army opened humanitarian corridors, but the Ukrainian side prevented civilians from leaving.

He criticized the UN position, saying it missed the opportunity to resolve the Ukrainian crisis peacefully during the past seven years.

For his part, the Omani Foreign Minister said that his country is grateful to the Russian government for its role in talks to revive the Iranian nuclear deal.

Busaidi called for intensifying efforts to find peaceful solutions to the crisis in Ukraine, adding that Muscat is “following with great interest the situation in Ukraine and calls on all parties to exercise restraint and resolve differences peacefully in order to avoid aggravating the situation.”

The two sides also discussed the current developments of several regional and international issues, and they confirmed the importance of dialogue and cooperation to find diplomatic solutions to various issues.

    Source:
  • Asharq Al-Awsat