US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is interested in a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday after a 2+2 meeting of Russian and French foreign and defense ministers.
"I know that when the chiefs of the general staffs had a telephone conversation last time, the US general said Mr. Esper would like to establish contact with his Russian counterpart," TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.
"Normality" the US way
Commenting on the Pentagon chief’s statement that Russia should behave "as a more normal country" Lavrov said it was important to understand in the first place what is ‘normal’ from the viewpoint of the US counterparts, Esper in particular.
"If he really said this, then I can only remark that he urged us to act as a normal country, and not as the United States," Lavrov said. "Otherwise we would be acting the way the United States does — bombing Iraq and Libya in violation of international law and earmarking millions in our government budget for intervention in the affairs of other countries, the way the US Congress did by instructing the US Department of State to spend 20 million dollars a year on advancing democracy in Russia."
In this connection Lavrov recalled the United States’ attitude to Ukraine.
"We would be supporting an anti-constitutional armed coup, the way the United States and its closest allies did in February 2014, when the Ukrainian opposition under the pressure of radicals and neo-Nazis disrupted the agreement signed by the respectable EU member-countries," Lavrov said.
Shoigu agreed with this remark. "It’s hard to add anything to this," he said.