Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference at the United Nations, Tuesday April 25, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaThe Russian foreign minister earlier chaired a UN Security Council meeting on all topics regarding the Middle East, including the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly played a role in de-escalating regional tensions exacerbated by the US’ foreign policy standings.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a news conference following his bid to chair a United Nations Security Council meeting on Tuesday, speaking to reporters on a variety of topics such as the Black Sea grain initiative and the West’s sanctions campaign against Russia, among other hot-button issues. The more than hourlong presser saw the top diplomat remark that the Black Sea grain deal has reached an impasse as the West has opted to not take the matter with any serious consideration, adding the contents of a letter from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet been handed over. Additionally pressing were Lavrov’s remarks that the European Union is militarizing at a record pace and continuing on an aggressive approach in its attempt at containing Russia. The Russian official further underscored that Moscow hopes the West will steer clear of declaring any indication of a World War III.Lavrov’s appearance at the UN also saw the foreign minister emphasize that Russia would take into consideration the poor handling of US visas to Russian journalists when the time comes for the US to ask something of Russia.
Lavrov on Depleted Uranium Shells Sent to Ukraine: One Must Be Aware of Responsibilities
Touching on recent comments that the UK has provided Ukraine with thousands of shells that include depleted uranium rounds, the Russian foreign minister said that one should be aware of one’s shared responsibility.”One needs to be aware of one’s shared responsibility in this,” Lavrov said during the Tuesday briefing. “The UK is an island, so maybe for them it’s less important where this depleted uranium ends up radiating or not radiating whatever it may contain.”Lavrov’s statement came just moments after British Deputy Defense Minister James Heappey earlier said the UK sent Kiev thousands of shells for Challenger 2 tanks, including those with depleted uranium.Heappey, who made the development known in a written answer to a parliamentary query, did not give an estimate of the number of depleted uranium rounds fired by the Ukrainian armed forces, citing operational security reasons.The British minister also admitted the UK was not monitoring the locations from where these rounds were fired, and added that his country was not obligated to help Ukraine clear up the depleted uranium rounds post-conflict.
De-Dollarization Process Has Launched
Weighing on all matters regarding the de-dollarization process, Lavrov told reporters that it has been started, and that it shows the United States has not been truthful about it being a shared global currency that will ensure the functioning of the global economies’ mechanisms.”The process [of de-dollarization] has been launched,” Lavrov said during the briefing. “The US has proven that they were not telling the truth when for many decades after Nixon’s abolishment of the gold standard they claimed: ‘Well, don’t worry, even without being backed by gold, this isn’t our dollar. This is our shared common global currency that will ensure the functioning of all the mechanisms of the global economies.'”Over the last several months Russia has been actively working toward strengthening its economic cooperation with China, going so far as to adopt the yuan currency for trade deals. In fact, early April saw the yuan officially surpass the dollar in monthly trading volumes, marking a first in Russia.EconomyDe-Dollarization Part of ‘Trend’ But Unknown If Dollar Will Disappear – Russian Minister19 April, 20:29 GMTIn the weeks since, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin told Sputnik that the shift was part of a “tendency and a trend,” but that it remained uncertain whether the dollar would entirely “disappear.””Each dominant currency has its own cycle,” Pankin said at the time, adding that the Dutch guilder and the Portuguese escudo were each once considered a controlling currency in their time.
Russia Has No Comment on Biden 2024 Bid
As the meeting came just hours after US President Joe Biden announced his reelection campaign, Lavrov commented that Russia will not be commenting on American commander-in-chief’s aspirations.”Unlike journalists who publicly analyze [the issue], the Russian government does not interfere in the affairs of other states,” Lavrov said when asked about the development.Biden formally announced his reelection bid early Tuesday, calling on US voters to throw their support behind his campaign so he is able to “finish the job.” The highly-anticipated announcement came in a video in which Biden chose to reiterate his 2020 promises to unite the nation and strengthen the middle class.AmericasBiden Officially Announces 2024 Reelection BidYesterday, 10:06 GMTAs was earlier speculated, Biden made the declaration four years to the day that he initially announced his candidacy for the 2020 election cycle.
The Tuesday presser also saw Lavrov lean into the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which has largely been left untouched under the Biden administration despite the president’s past comments that talks would be taken back up.The Russian foreign minister further noted that “new requirements” being proposed for a revived Iran nuclear deal were continuing to complicate efforts. He added that missing the opportunity to resuscitate the agreement would be a “big mistake.”Although it initially appeared as though JCPOA talks were moving in the right direction, it quickly became clear negotiations were headed toward multiple bumps and near breakdowns. WorldIran, Russia Agree JCPOA Has No Alternatives29 March, 11:36 GMTIn late March, Iran and Russia both agreed that the historic deal had no alternatives and should be reimplemented under its initial standards. Aside from Russia and Iran, the deal’s signatories included China, France, Germany, the US, UK and the European Union.
The US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 under the Trump administration after then President Donald Trump made various accusations that Tehran had violated stipulations outlined in the Obama-era nuclear deal.
The agreement had imposed severe restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting widespread sanctions. In the months that followed the US' withdrawal, Iran was not only affected by reimposed sanctions but later also by a "maximum pressure" campaign by the Trump White House.