Russian FM Slams Washington’s Sanctions as Unfair Competition Methods
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attended the Primakov Readings forum in Moscow and made several statements concerning the most pressing international issues. This year, the forum has brought together at least 80 high-profile business and political experts from 29 countries.
On the US Trade Wars
Washington’s sanctions and trade wars are unfair competition methods that contradict the regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
“While it [the United States] claims that it is imposing law-based order, it, in fact, creates sectional structures… and tries to present the decisions that it makes in different spheres, from chemical weapons to cyber threats and journalism, as the opinion of the global community. Not to mention such vicious methods of unfair competition, contradicting the WTO regulations, like unilateral economic sanctions, trade wars and extraterritorial application of national law,” Lavrov said during the international summit.
The US and China have been engaged in a trade war since last year. Back in 2016, when Donald Trump was a presidential candidate, he vowed to cancel international trade agreements and fight against what he described as “a leadership class that worships globalism”. In January 2018 Trump imposed a 30% tariff on foreign solar panels. China, which is the world’s leading producer of solar panels, decried the US tariffs. Trump also placed a 20% tariff on washing machines imported from China.
The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has also been affected by criminal charges filed by US authorities against the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Washington believes that Huawei works in collaboration with the Chinese government and spies on people who use Huawei smartphones. However, both the tech giant and the Chinese authorities strictly deny the US allegations as unfounded.
On US Policy Toward Iran
Mr Lavrov believes that the United States’ actions in relation to Iran constitute a clear attempt to make the international community ignore a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution to suffocate this country.
“‘Lack of ability to reach an agreement’ is probably the nicest thing that one can say [about the United States’ actions against Tehran], because there is clearly an attempt to force the whole world to not comply with a UN Security Council resolution in order to achieve the goal of strangling a single country,” Lavrov said at the Primakov Readings forum in Moscow on Tuesday.
The US quit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, re-imposed sanctions against Tehran and announced secondary sanctions against companies all over the world that do business with Iran.
On the Non-Aggression Pact Between Iran and the Arab States
Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow favours a non-aggression pact between Iran and the Arab states.
“Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has recently proposed to seal a non-aggression pact between Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council. This, of course, would be effective,” Lavrov said during the international summit.
On Inadmissibility of Russia-US Nuclear Conflict
“It is vitally important that Russia and the United States put the rest of the world at ease and adopt a top-level joint statement saying that there cannot be any winner in a nuclear war and it is, therefore, unacceptable and inadmissible,” Lavrov said during the Primakov Readings forum in Moscow.
Former leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union have made such statements twice, the Russian foreign minister recalled.
“And we don’t understand why we cannot reaffirm this position, given the current situation. The US side is studying our proposals,” Lavrov noted.