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Lavrov identifies root of US-Russia tensions

Lavrov identifies root of US-Russia tensions

The notion of American exceptionalism drives antagonism with Russia, Moscow’s top diplomat has said

The root cause of the conflict in Ukraine is linked to Washington’s belief that the US is exceptional and the contention that this supposedly justifies its dominance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Speaking during an interview with Russian television on Thursday, the top diplomat urged people to “dig deeper” in their analysis of the confrontation. American officials believe the US is “an exceptional nation, unlike any other in the world,” and that it has a duty to lead, because otherwise “there will be chaos.”

Lavrov cited an opinion piece by Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to President Joe Biden, which was published in The Atlantic magazine in 2019.

“No vision of American exceptionalism can succeed if the United States does not defeat the emerging vision that emphasizes ethnic and cultural identity,” he wrote at the time. The phrase referred to US domestic politics and how it affects the “core purpose of American foreign policy.”

Lavrov called the remark “terrible” because it denies other peoples “the right to remember their history.” The US government applies this principle globally, he suggested.

“Just like they melted in a pot everyone who arrived in America, they now want to melt everyone else, so they essentially become Americans,” the minister said.

“This exceptionalism, this absolute conviction of their infallibility and superiority – I am certain that it is the main reason why we are now confronting the nations that wage a proxy war against us through the Kiev regime.”

Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February last year, citing NATO’s creeping expansion into its neighbor and Kiev’s failure to implement an EU-mediated roadmap to peace.

The US claimed that the move was an act of “unprovoked aggression” and pledged to support Kiev with arms, money and other forms of assistance “for as long as it takes” to defeat Russia strategically. Lavrov called the conflict a proxy war waged against it by Washington and its allies to preserve Western dominance.

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