Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashes out at NATO and the West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashes out at NATO and the West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at NATO, the EU, Ukraine and the West during a fiery speech on Thursday.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Lavrov derided the international body as an "appendage" of the EU and NATO.

He also blamed “NATO’s reckless expansion to the East” for war returning to Europe before tearing into the OSCE itself.

"Let's face it, the organisation is on the brink of a precipice and the question arises: does it still make sense to invest in revitalising it?" he told dozens of other foreign ministers in the North Macedonian capital, Skopje.

The Russian foreign minister spoke for 15 minutes before walking out of the meetings. He blamed what he described as Western tolerance of the “ruling neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”

Lavrov had to get special permission to fly over European airspace to attend the meeting, his first visit to a NATO country since the Kremlin launched it's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – have boycotted the OSCE meeting along with Ukraine because of Lavrov's presence.

Western ministers in attendance were sharply critical of Lavrov after he spoke.

“Russia’s attempts to blame others for its own choices are transparent,” said Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who was speaking when Lavrov walked out.

“We will not compromise on the core principles of the European security order or allow Russia to deny Ukraine the right to make its own independent foreign and security policy choices – principles that Russia itself has agreed to,” he continued.

Based in Vienna, Austria, the OSCE is an intergovernmental organisation focused on promoting security, stability, and cooperation among its participating states.