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2021-December-1  19:11

Russia Excoriates US-Convened Summit for Democracy as 'Odious Project'

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the US initiative for convening a Summit for Democracy on December 9-10 as a "get-together" and "one of the most odious projects".

"The Americans decide at their sole discretion who is to be invited to this get-together and who is not to be invited. In the meantime, in the wake of bombardments of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya and a 20-year-long experiment in Afghanistan and other adventures Washington’s attempts to usurp the right to gauge the degree of democracy in this or that country look simply cynical," Lavrov told the Federation Council on Wednesday, TASS reported.

Lavrov said that "the Western countries systematically ruin the international UN-centric architecture, established on the basis of the results of World War II and try to replace it with some rules-based order that benefits only them".

"These so-called rules are formulated behind closed doors, within a group of select few and in bypass of the United Nations. Then there follow attempts to dictate them to everybody else. The United States’ initiative for convening a Summit for Democracy is one of the most odious projects that has emerged under the trademark of this world order," Lavrov said.

"It is obvious that Washington has set course towards drawing new division lines in international affairs, this time, in the context of a group of countries that fancy themselves the rulers of humanity’s destiny," he added.

Lavrov stressed that "the situation in world affairs remains complicated and in some respects is degrading".

"The main reason for this is the unpreparedness of Washington and its Western allies to recognize the realities of the emerging polycentric world order and their stubborn wish to address the emerging problems from the position of strength with reliance on a wide set of illegitimate instruments - from unilateral economic sanctions to outright interference in the internal affairs in the spirit of color revolutions," Lavrov said.

Moscow urges Washington to resolve its own problems and overcome the deepening polarization in American society regarding ethics and values before it decides on "exporting democracy", according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry in relation to the US planning to hold on December 9-10 a so-called "Summit for Democracy" made public on Wednesday.

"Against this backdrop, the democratizing rhetoric coming from Washington is not only completely disconnected from reality, but is also utterly hypocritical. Before embarking on the path of ‘exporting democracy’, we urge our North American partners to first address their problems at home, and to try to overcome the deepening divisions in society on matters of ethics, values, and vision of the country’s past and future. Humbly admitting that US democracy is not perfect is clearly not enough," the diplomatic service noted.

The Russian Foreign Ministry highlighted the invalidity of Washington’s and its allies’ aspirations to "claim the status of a ‘beacon’ of democracy, since they themselves have chronic problems with freedom of speech, election administration, corruption and human rights."

"The editorial policy of major Western media outlets is, in fact, controlled by the partisan and corporate elites. Well-oiled mechanisms for censorship, self-censorship and the removal of unwanted accounts and content from digital platforms are used to suppress dissent in the media, which represents a gross violation of the right to free expression promoted by the West," the ministry stressed.

The Russian diplomatic service also noted that social networks controlled by American companies are widely used for disinformation, propaganda and the manipulation of public opinion. According to the statement, "mass electronic surveillance by intelligence agencies and the IT corporations that collaborate with them has become a reality of daily life in Western states".

"Millions of Americans question the fairness and transparency of the 2020 presidential election. This is understandable, because the way it was conducted and its outcome involved dubious practices such as gerrymandering, multi-week mail voting, and denying observers, especially international ones, access to polling stations," the ministry added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed out that while fashioning itself as the "global democratic leader", the United States has "for many years led the world in the number of prisoners (over 2 million people)" and "continues to keep silent about torture at the Guantanamo Bay prison".

The Russian diplomatic agency noted that the situation in the EU and the UK "is no better".

According to the statement, "Brussels consistently ignores the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking residents in the Baltic states, Ukraine and Moldova. It turns a blind eye to the mythmaking of the Young Europeans in political history, where former Nazi henchmen, who committed war crimes, are proclaimed national heroes."

"Great Britain cannot position itself as a progressive democracy, either. That country is a comfortable home to organizations professing neo-Nazi ideology with rising incidents of racism and discrimination against ethnic and cultural minorities in many spheres of public life," the diplomatic agency pointed out.

"We can continue quoting examples revealing the hypocrisy at the core of this ‘summit for democracy.’ But is it necessary?" the diplomatic service stressed, noting that "claiming to be on the right side of ideology and morality, the United States and a small group of its allies have undermined confidence in themselves with aggressive actions on the world stage under the banner of ‘promoting democracy’".

The administration of President Joe Biden intends to hold its much-touted "Summit for Democracy" gathering heads of state, human rights activists and businessmen in a videoconference format on December 9-10. Some 110 countries and territories were invited.

The list of participants, published by the US Department of State, includes the Chinese island of Taiwan, however, China, as well as Russia, Turkey, Egypt and a number of other countries are not on the list. Venezuela is also not among those invited.

Russia frustrates any attempts at meddling in its internal affairs or lecturing it in an arrogant way, Lavrov added.

"We are invariably prepared for an equitable inter-state dialogue with everybody on the firm basis of international law, in the first place, the UN Charter. At the same time, we nip in the bud any attempts at lecturing us arrogantly in a mentor’s tone, let alone blackmail us or interfere in our internal affairs. Our response to this is always firm and resolute," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that a dialogue with any counterpart was possible only on the condition of mutual respect and a balance of interests.

"Such a policy, implying the protection of national interests and good relations with partners on all geographical tracks, proves its effectiveness to the full extent and allows for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with an overwhelming majority of states accounting for 80% of the world’s population," Lavrov said.