The actions taken by the EU and NATO essentially amount to the formation of a “new coalition” targeting Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Friday, comparing the steps taken by Brussels to the actions of Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter before attacking the Soviet Union.
Moscow has “no illusions” about the prospect of “Russophobic sentiments” within the EU dissipating any time soon, Lavrov said. Russia will closely follow all the “real steps” taken by the bloc and its candidate states, he added in a probable reference to Ukraine, which was granted EU candidacy status on Thursday.
“Hitler rallied a significant part, if not most, of the European nations under his banner for a war against the Soviet Union,” the foreign minister said, adding that “now, the EU together with NATO are forming another – modern – coalition for a standoff and, ultimately, war with the Russian Federation.”
Lavrov’s remarks came just one day after he branded a proposal to assemble an international naval coalition to escort ships carrying Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea as an attempt to interfere in the region under the auspices of the UN. Such schemes are not needed to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports, he argued, adding that Moscow guarantees vessels security all the way to the Bosphorus Strait, a key Black Sea access channel controlled by Turkey.
Earlier this month, the minister also stated that Washington was seeking to use the conflict in Ukraine to deprive Russia of its independent status on the international arena and force it to play by rules set by the US. America and its allies will not succeed in such an endeavor, he warned at the time.