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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Criticizes U.S. Unilateralism

ReutersLavrov speaking as council member Irina Khakamada and presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko listen on Saturday.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday harshly criticized what he called Washington's unilateral foreign policy, and said Moscow intended to counterbalance it with its increasing global clout.

The comments were the latest expression of irritation from Moscow over the United States' actions, including plans to base parts of its missile defense system in former Soviet satellite states, its handling of the Iranian nuclear problem, the war in Iraq and other issues.

Lavrov said the United States was still uncomfortable with the idea that there could be more than one superpower in the world.

"I don't understand why multipolarity must be perceived as a confrontational approach," he told members of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a group of politicians, officials, experts and business leaders who meet regularly to discuss foreign policy matters.

He said he believed that Washington's "overblown" role in world affairs was decreasing, while Russia's clout was on the rise.

Lavrov said the U.S. missile defense plans were a "provocation of European and global policy scale."

Lavrov praised the United States' flexibility in dealing with North Korea's nuclear program, but lamented that Washington was still "unwilling to normalize bilateral relations with Tehran," which he charged was slowing down efforts to convince Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.

Lavrov stressed, however, that there was "no confrontational bias" on the part of Russia.

"There is no talk of any kind of a new Cold War, for which there are no objective grounds," he said.