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The Daily Vertical: Russia's Sovereignty Over All (Transcript)

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

So Sergei Lavrov wants a new world order.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference this weekend, the Russian Foreign Minister called for a "post-West" international order in which "each country is defined by its sovereignty."

Each country, that is, except for Ukraine -- where Russia has illegally annexed one region and illegally invaded another.

Each country, that is, except for Georgia -- which has 20 percent of its territory occupied by Russian troops.

Each country, that is, except for Moldova -- which remains paralyzed by a Moscow-backed frozen conflict in Transdniester.

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Each country, that is, except for Belarus -- which the Kremlin treats as a virtual western extension of its territory.

Every country, that is, except for Kazakhstan, whose Russophone north is being greedily eyed by Russian officials.

Each country, that is, except for those whose territory and population are part of what Vladimir Putin's regime calls the Russian World.

Lavrov's post-West world order, in other words, would protect the sovereignty of every country -- except of course those whom the Kremlin believes it has an inalienable right to dominate and control.

Lavrov's post-West world order means the West is forbidden from defending the sovereignty of Russia's neighbors in any way.

Because for Lavrov and his masters in the Kremlin, sovereignty means sovereignty for Russia alone.

And it is a sovereignty that extends well beyond Russia's borders.

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