Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has made it clear, including publicly, that achieving results is only possible through finding a mutually acceptable balance of interests on a strictly equal basis.”
Despite constructive talks between Putin and his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in Geneva last month, Lavrov said that Washington’s officials had made a return to “lecturing” the Kremlin. This included a warning that the country could soon face more sanctions if it does not accept “the rules of the game” set out by US envoys in Geneva, he said.
“Attempts to conduct dialogue with us from a position of strength are doomed to fail,” the foreign minister blasted. “We will respond harshly and decisively to unfriendly actions.”
In March, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized American officials for what he saw as attempts to deal with the country in a confrontational and superior manner. “The Americans are now repeating like a mantra the idea that they will speak with everyone from a position of power,” the spokesman added. “Neither Putin, nor anyone else from the Russian administration, will allow the US or other nations to talk to us like that – it’s out of the question,” Peskov said.
READ MORE: Putin: Talking to Russia from position of strength is meaningless
The summit between the two world leaders was broadly hailed as a success, and Putin said that it was civil in tone and he “didn’t think there was any kind of hostility” behind negotiations. Lavrov added that the main outcome had been “modest, but a step towards the resumption of normal relations.”
In 2014, as relations between the two countries frayed in the face of Russia’s reabsorption of the Сrimean peninsula, the president forewarned that “talking to Russia from a position of strength is meaningless,” slamming sanctions and international condemnation over the development. According to him, “Every time somebody believes Russia is becoming too powerful and independent, such instruments are turned on immediately,” said Putin.
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