Source: Tanjug, TASS
MOSCOW -- Russia's partners in the West should pay attention to NATO's 1999 bombing of Serbia, to Kosovo, and the breakup of Libya, "and not just to Crimea."
"Concerning international law and the attention that it has received lately, primarily in relation to Crimea, we would like our Western partners to treat other cases that have occurred in modern history no less diligently," he said.
The Russian official added Moscow was "consistently committed to respecting international law in the full capacity of its objectives and principles."
"That bombing by OSCE member-states of another member-state - and I have Yugoslavia (SRJ) in mind - the situation with the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo - without any referendum. Nobody raised their voice there, nor asked why this happened without a referendum," said Lavrov.
The Russian minister accused western countries of failing to react when nationalist leaders in Ukraine a year ago openly called for persecution or destruction of Russians in Crimea.
"The rush to abolish the status of minority languages in Ukraine was accompanied by anti-Russian statements. Yarosh (Right Sector leader) said in late February of last year that the Russians will never accept Ukrainian culture, will never celebrate Bandera, that the Russians cannot change, and therefore there should be no Russians in Crimea, that they should be either expel or destroyed," Lavrov said.
According to him, U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was carried out under "openly made-up pretexts" - while in the case of Libya "a UN mandate was grossly abused."
"A country has been destroyed and now everyone is trying to repair it, while asking only one thing: how to prevent the breakup of other countries in the region," Lavrov said.
Pointing out that all these facts should be "investigated by historians," the Russian foreign minister said that "in practical politics results cannot be achieved unless what happened on the international stage by the gross undermining of international law is kept in mind."