Russia will retaliate if it was attacked and the interests of the Russian people are threatened, Sergei Lavrov told RT.
Lavrov said the US has a hand in the current stand-off in Ukraine between the coup-appointed government and anti-Maidan activists.
In an interview with RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze, Lavrov said that if Russian territory comes under attack, then Moscow will respond in line with international law.
“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” he said.
Speaking about the buildup of troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Lavrov added that Russian troops have not crossed into Ukraine and remain on Russian territory.
“Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” he told RT. The foreign minister also spoke about American involvement in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, accusing Washington of trying to manipulate the situation.
“There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show,” said Lavrov, referencing US Vice-President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev and its coincidence with the renewed counter-terror operation on activists in eastern Ukraine.
“It’s quite telling they chose the moment of the Vice President of the US’ visit to announce the resumption of this operation because the launching of this operation happened immediately after [head of the CIA] John Brennan’s visit to Kiev,” said Lavrov.
The situation in Ukraine is just another example of Washington trying to gain ground in the geopolitical fight, the minister said.
“Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone,” said Lavrov, adding Washington’s “ready-made solutions” cannot remedy a crisis that it does not understand.