Russian Foreign Minister (FM) Sergei Lavrov said that the special military operation in Ukraine aims at protecting Russians in the Donbas region.
“The Russians in the Donbas region have been betrayed by the French, the Germans, and, of course, the British,” Lavrov added, during an exclusive interview with BBC on Sunday.
In response to a question about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin took his advice before the start of the military operation last February, Lavrov said, “The decision-making mechanism exists in every country, and in the case of the special military operation in Ukraine, this mechanism had been activated in Russia entirely,” noting that there are some things that are not publicly disclosed.
Earlier, Lavrov stressed, on Monday, that Moscow will not set artificial timetables to complete its “special military operation”, launched in Ukraine on February 24, by Victory Day on May 9.
In press remarks, Lavrov reiterated that the operation aims to “ensure the safety of civilians and make sure that there are no threats from Ukraine to civilians and Russia,” adding that the operational pace depends on the need to mitigate risks for civilians and Russian troops.
On the other hand, German Foreign Minister (FM) Annalena Baerbock said that Western sanctions aim to weaken the Russian economy so that it cannot wage another war.
“Of course, I want Russia not to launch again a war of aggression that violates international law,” Baerbock told German TV station ARD on Sunday.