© Sputnik/Grigory SysoevRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during an interview with Dmitry Kiselev, director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International Media Group, in Moscow, Russia.
Moscow is locked in a geopolitical struggle against Washington and the crisis in Ukraine is at the forefront, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. The diplomat added that Western nations are not keen for hostilities to end.

Lavrov made the remarks during a wide-ranging interview with Russian state media on Thursday, in which he also accused the US of stripping the EU of any semblance of independence.

Here are some of the key comments from Lavrov's TV appearance.

Ukraine as epicenter of geopolitical battle

Western nations want to cripple Russia with sanctions to bring about a "decade of regression," Lavrov stated, referring to the words of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

"We are in the center of a geopolitical battle. There is no doubt about it," the foreign minister said.

Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine are "heroes" whose "deeds are for the future of mankind, in which there will be no conditions for full US hegemony," added Lavrov.

US belief in its exceptionalism

The US "has subjugated" European politicians, taking the "last traces of independence" from the EU, the diplomat argued. The kind of "democracy" they advocate boils down to "a right for them to impose on others what democracy should look like," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister argued that Washington pressures other nations to do its bidding, offering no benefits for compliance and threatening punishment to any dissenters. He called the approach "the pinnacle of pragmatism, but also cynicism."

The core of US foreign policy is American exceptionalism and Washington's belief in its "infallibility and superiority," according to Lavrov.

Western intentions in Ukraine

The conflict in Ukraine continues to rage because Western nations, led by the US, refuse to stop "until they conclude that they have eliminated threats to their hegemony," Lavrov insisted. According to the leading Russian diplomat, Kiev has been barred by the West from seeking peace with Moscow.

"Nobody objected when [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky prohibited negotiations with Russia by law. Nobody scolded him when he... claimed that he doesn't understand who makes decisions in Russia and who he should talk to."

Zelensky likely feels ashamed to be controlled and manipulated by the West and resorts to psychological projection, Lavrov suggested.

Comment: It seems the West knows it and is working to diminish his influence: Zelensky's purge continues with raids on oligarch & politician Kolomoisky and ex-interior minister

The next 'anti-Russia'

Lavrov was asked which nation could next be turned into an "anti-Russia" - a term that the Russian leadership has used to describe Ukraine in its current state. The Russian minister said Moldova could be cast in that role due to the personality of its president, Maia Sandu.

Sandu was "installed at the helm of the country through specific methods that were far from freedom and democracy," Lavrov assessed. "She has Romanian citizenship, is ready to merge [Moldova] with Romania and to do pretty much anything." In addition, Sandu is "rushing into NATO," argued the diplomat.

Comment: Moldova's citizens agree, and they're not happy about it: 59% of Moldova's citizens believe country is controlled by US or EU forces - poll

Georgia fitted the description under former President Mikhail Saakashvili, Lavrov said, but he added that the current government in Tbilisi has put national interest first.

No help needed in Ukraine

Russia did not have and does not have any intention to ask its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for military assistance in Ukraine, Lavrov stated, referring to the regional defense group of which Russia is a member.

"We have everything we need to achieve the goals of the special military operation, to end this war, which the West started through the Kiev regime after the [2014] coup [in Ukraine]," he stressed.

China's take on US-designed globalism

Lavrov described current Russian-Chinese relations as the strongest ever, adding that they have "no restrictions, no limits, and no issues banned for discussion."

Both Moscow and Beijing simply want to pursue national development "within the framework of existing norms of international trade."

"China beats America on its own turf under its own rules," the diplomat assessed. According to Lavrov, this is why the US is reneging on the economic principles that it spread across the world and benefited from in the past.

In Moscow's eyes, the current form of globalization "no longer has positive traits," Lavrov said, adding that "we realized it sooner because we were the first to take a punch."

Russia had "less immersion" than China in the US-influenced global financial system and other mechanisms, which Washington now abuses, he explained.

It will take China some time to reduce its involvement with those mechanisms and create alternative tools to defend its interests, but it is moving in that direction, Lavrov predicted.