No intention to create another Afghanistan: Russia
KABUL (PAN): Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said his country had no intention of deploying its military to the Middle East or North Africa to fight for its positions and create "another Afghanistan."
"This is my answer to those who wonder why we are not fighting for our positions," Lavrov told a Russian television's "Sunday Night with Solovyov" programme.
"We will not be fighting for our positions…and creating 'another Afghanistan' for ourselves. Never, under no circumstances!,” said Lavrov, referring to the Soviet experience in Afghanistan (1979-1989).
Instead, the Russian foreign minister emphasised on importance to working diplomatically with legitimate governments to be able to resolve their internal problems without outside interference – specifically military interference.
“The Libyan authorities are sending us direct signals suggesting that they want to restart work on projects launched in Gaddafi's time,” Lavrov revealed. “The same can be said about Egypt."
Lavrov then cited Iraq as another example of a country that experienced a military occupation by foreign troops, yet is today turning to Russia for assistance.
"Back in 2003, we were strongly opposed to what the Americans were doing as the coalition leader,” he said. “Now we are receiving the Iraqi Prime Minister, and the Iraqi President is dealing with us.”
He said Baghdad was looking to promote economic cooperation with Moscow and "they are “creating an environment for our oil, energy and other companies' operations.”
Lavrov then emphasized the Iraq government’s interest in buying Russian military products.
“I am talking about Iraq,” he declared. “The country led by a government that was brought to power by American bayonets!"