10 Jul 2020 16:21

Lavrov: I do not see how Russia could benefit from U.S.-China trade war

MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax) - The trade standoff between the United States and China is not in the interests of Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"I don't see how Russia could benefit from the trade war between Washington and Beijing. In this case, we won't gain any benefit, either in relations with the European Union or in relations with India, which are traditionally friendly and don't depend on the current situation and which I don't expect to undergo any change," Lavrov said during an online session of the Primakov Readings organized by Interfax and the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of World Economy and International Relations.

On the whole, the exacerbation of U.S.-China relations "does not meet our interests or the interests of the European Union and other countries," Lavrov said. "Speaking of the European Union, China-EU trade turnover is totally comparable with the trade turnover between China and the United States," he said.

"In this case, [the EU] directly competes with the Americans and will hardly wholeheartedly back the U.S. pursuit to bleed the Chinese economy as much as possible by moving all processes fostering active development to its territory," Lavrov said.

"There will be a lot of hiccups, tensions, and conflicts of interest in this area," he said.

Lavrov said he hopes that Beijing and Washington will be able to ease tensions using diplomatic methods. "Of course, there is hope, since China always tries to avoid acute situations, due to its political, diplomatic, and foreign political culture," he said.

At the same time, "there are extremely disquieting signs: despite the existence of a fragile hope that needs to be fostered, both U.S. and Chinese officials are increasingly making their statements personal and very harsh, which indicates an extremely high level of tension on both sides," Lavrov said.

"Of course, this level is extremely worrisome. Hopefully, our Chinese and U.S. colleagues still have some diplomatic methods, classic diplomatic methods, left so as not to exchange public insults and accuse each other of all sins, which the Americans have been doing on every corner, but to sit down and acknowledge the fact that they are facing a great nation," Lavrov said.