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News > Russia

300 Billion Dollars Stolen by the West From Russia - Lavrov

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. May. 2, 2022.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. May. 2, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@KiogaFmAmolatar

Published 2 May 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the West had stolen more than 300 billion dollars from Russia, belonging mostly to payments for oil and gas supplies. 

In an interview with an Italian TV channel, the minister referred to several problems involving Russia and the West, especially the wide-ranging sanctions imposed on Russian companies and the oil and gas industry as of February 24, following Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. 


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Referring to payments for oil and gas supplies, Lavrov said that more than 300 billion dollars were stolen from Russia. The energy corporation Gazprom had to keep the money in Western bank accounts. "They wanted to punish Russia, so they stole it," the minister said, adding that "now they are offering us to continue trading as before, and the money will stay with them." He continued to say that "when they want, they will pocket them again. That's the reason". 
As for Russia's halting of gas deliveries, the Russian diplomat said that in response to the threat posed by the West taking money away from Russia, the country has now proposed that "deliveries are considered paid not when Gazprombank receives the euros or dollars, but when they are converted into rubles, which can no longer be stolen." Buyers will continue to pay the amounts stipulated in the contracts, either in euros or dollars, Lavrov said, noting that the conversion will be done at a later time.   

On the fact that Italy is standing at the head of sanctions efforts against Russia regardless of the close relationship between both nations, Lavrov said that "Italy is at the forefront of those who not only accept anti-Russian sanctions but put forward initiatives in every possible way. It was very strange for me to see it, but now we are used to the fact that Italy can be like that".

Concerning the nuclear war scenario, given the current situation and the arms race, the diplomat said that "Russia has never stopped efforts to reach agreements that will guarantee the non-initiation of a nuclear war." In this connection, he said: "We were forced to develop hypersonic weapons because we knew very well that the U.S. missile defense system would be directed not at North Korea and Iran, but against Russia and subsequently China."  

Alluding to Russia's need for weapons that can overcome such missile defenses, the minister said that "the country possessing missile defense and offensive weapons may be tempted to strike a first strike in the hope that a retaliatory attack will be suppressed by missile defense systems." Lavrov added that the dialogue on strategic stability with Russia, in which hypersonic systems were to be under discussion, was interrupted by the U.S., meaning that Moscow will now be on its own.

"Currently, even NATO does not fit the Americans. They held their last meetings not within the framework of NATO (a meeting dedicated to the support of Ukraine) but just convened delegations because there is a consensus in NATO. But they need to quickly and single-handedly resolve all issues", Lavrov said, referring to the role of NATO and Washington in connection with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The diplomat said the U.S.-led military alliance is seeking consensus on the issue.


Sergey Lavrov
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