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Russia’s foreign minister has said that a ‘total hybrid war’ has been launched while pointing to the sanctions imposed on the country amid its ongoing attack against Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov, who sparked outrage earlier this month by claiming Adolf Hitler had 'Jewish blood' while discussing Russia’s ‘denazification’ of Ukraine, made the recent claims while speaking on the 80th day of the conflict.
In an attempt to portray Russia as the target rather than the perpetrator, he accused western countries of launching the ‘hybrid war’ by implementing restrictive measures, adding that they will retaliate by strengthening connections with China, India, Algeria and Gulf countries.
"The collective West has declared total hybrid war on us and it is hard to predict how long all this will last but it is clear the consequences will be felt by everyone, without exception," said Lavrov (via Reuters).
In his speech, he suggested Russia will thrive under the sanctions, a swathe of which were imposed when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February, targeting financial institutions and banning the use of Russian oil and gas.
“In the future, the world economy will be de-Americanised,” he said. “We did everything to avoid a direct clash – but now that the challenge has been thrown down, we of course accept it. We are no strangers to sanctions: they were almost always there in one form or another.”
The foreign minister continued: "Not only Russia but many others too are reducing dependence on the US dollar, western technology and markets,” highlighting the importance of Russia’s ties with other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Lavrov’s speech follows the news that due to the Kremlin implementing a series of capital controls, which allow for tighter restrictions on the country's cash flow, the rouble is currently outperforming the dollar.
When the Moscow Exchange reopened after a two-day holiday on Wednesday, May 11, the ruble gained more than 11 percent compared to the US dollar since the beginning of the year, meaning it had made the largest gains among the world's 31 major currencies.
However, documents seen by Bloomberg state that the Russian Finance Ministry is expecting a 12 percent collapse in gross domestic product (GDP). GDP is the value of all final goods and services made within a country during a specific period.
If true, experts believe it will add even more pressure on Putin, who has faced criticism over his handling of the ongoing war.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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