On Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded to comments made by President Obama during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, regarding U.S. relations with Russia.
In 2014, Obama signed a series of executive orders that placed sanctions on Russia, in order to increase the “diplomatic and financial costs of Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine.”
In his address, Obama explained that by placing sanctions on Russia, the United States was “demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy.”
“We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small,” said Obama. “By opposing Russian aggression, and supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.”
In his response, Lavrov stated that by placing sanctions on Russia, the United States was harming mutual partners, and mutual work between the nations was suffering because of it.
“We do not want, and we will not allow, any new Cold War,” said Lavrov. “Our Western partners should understand that security in the modern world is impossible through attempts of one-sided actions or one-sided pressure on partners in mutual work.”
Obama said that while he “heard from some folks” that President Putin’s aggression was a “masterful display of strategy and strength,” he believed that the United States was the nation with a strong and strategic economy.
“Today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters,” said Obama. “That’s how America leads – not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.”
Lavrov countered Obama’s comment, insisting that the “attempts to isolate Russia will not get any result.” He went on to say that because of the lack of bilateral dialogue, “relations between Moscow and Washington have been seriously exacerbated.”
“The Americans have taken the course of confrontation and do not assess their own steps critically at all,” said Lavrov. “Yesterday’s speech by President Obama shows that at the center of their philosophy is only one thing: ‘We are number one and everyone else has to respect that.’ This is a little outdated and does not reflect today’s reality.”