The Russian people do not want war and do not plan to take part in it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday, speaking to students and teachers of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), an academic institution run by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“There were numerous periods throughout our history when we were restrained, but they never ended with our people being lost or reconciled with it,” he said. “I think that we have never lacked patience. No one wants a ‘hot war,’ and we are not going to take part in it, but, seeing all of this around, we’ve got to have arms, an army, a fleet and aerospace forces that would be consistent with reality.”
“We are not saying this to egg someone on into an arms race or to test our strength,” the Russian foreign minister stressed. “Situations when a poorly armed country is taken over, not in a judicial or internationally legal way, but concerning its independence, are rather frequent.”
Lavrov stressed that Russia’s main fortune is its people.
“Our people who have genetically absorbed our civilizational culture and our openness to the world and who understand that we will be ready to talk and be friends with those who want to reciprocate on an equal footing and who will not push their own rules upon other people. I expect that your colleagues from other states who study alongside our citizens will sense this great feature of our people,” the minister concluded.