MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign ministry accused the West of being directly involved with the conflict in Ukraine. The West supplied weapons and trained its soldiers.

Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister, stated that Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities were designed to weaken Ukraine’s military capabilities and disrupt Western weapons shipments.

“You shouldn’t claim that the U.S. isn’t involved in this conflict. “You are directly participating,” Lavrov told reporters during a video chat. “And not only are you providing weapons, but also training personnel. You are training their army on your territory, as well as on the territories of Germany, Italy, and Britain.

He claimed that the barrages with missiles, drones, artillery and fire that have left millions in Ukraine without electricity, heating, or water were meant to “knockout energy facilities that enable you to keep pumping deadly arms into Ukraine in order kill the Russians.”

Lavrov explained that “the infrastructure that is the target of those attacks is used for ensuring the combat potentiary of the Ukrainian army forces and the Nationalist battalions,” Lavrov stated.

Both the West and Ukraine have accused Russia that it targeted key civilian infrastructure to lower morale, make Ukraine’s people suffer during winter and force Kyiv’s government to agree to peace talks with Moscow.

Kherson, the southerly city, was seized by Russia’s forces in the early days of conflict. They withdrew last month. On Thursday, Russian shelling cut power to the newly liberated city within days of its restoration.

A few weeks before the Ukrainian forces reclaimed Kherson, Russia made the entire Kherson region and three other regions part of its territory. It did this following “referendums” which were quickly rejected by the West and Ukraine as shams.

Lavrov answered the question of how strikes against infrastructure in Kherson and other locations comply with Moscow’s stated goal of protecting Ukraine’s Russian speaking population. He drew parallels with the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II.

He stated that Stalingrad was also part our territory and that we defeated the Germans to make them flee.

Lavrov maintained that Moscow was open to negotiations on an end to the conflict. “We never asked for negotiations, but we have always said that it was open to listening to all who are interested in a peaceful settlement,” he stated.

The Kremlin urged Ukraine to recognize Crimea as part Russia after it annexed it from Ukraine in 2014. It also urged Ukraine not to deny other land gains Russia made since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2014. It demanded guarantees that Ukraine would not join NATO and vaguely stated “demilitarization” and “denazification” goals.

Lavrov was asked if it was possible for a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin (US President Joe Biden) but said that they don’t shy away from contacts, adding that “we haven’t yet heard any serious thoughts yet.”

Lavrov claimed that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns about U.S. citizens being held in Russia via a phone call. He also noted that Putin had already established a channel of communication for special services to discuss this issue during their June 2021 meeting in Geneva.

“It’s functioning, and I hope that some result will be achieved,” he stated.

Biden’s administration has been trying for months to negotiate Brittney griner, WNBA star, being released. Paul Whelan, a Michigan corporate security executive, is also in Russian jail.

Lavrov said that it was impossible to talk about strategic stability while simultaneously ignoring all that is happening in Ukraine, when Russia decided to postpone nuclear arms control talks that were scheduled for this week.

He said, “The goal has already been announced to defeat Russia or destroy Russia on the field.” “How can the goal to defeat Russia not be significant for strategic stability, since they want destroy a key strategic stability player?”

Lavrov vented his disapproval at the U.S.A. and NATO allies over the two-and-a-half hour-long online conference.

He said the U.S. had tried to discourage other countries from maintaining close ties to Russia, but those efforts were unsuccessful.

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