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The Daily Vertical: Putin's Post-Truth Spokesman (Transcript)


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

Sergei Lavrov was on a roll yesterday.

The Russian foreign minister decried rising tensions in the Balkans -- where Russia has been busy stoking tensions in Kosovo and Bosnia.

He criticized the West's "messianic" attempts to spread its values -- as Russia backs extremists and demagogues who are spreading xenophobia and intolerance in West.

He suggested that some European countries were trying to wreck peace talks in Syria -- after Russia spent the last year wrecking peace talks and regularly violating cease-fires in Syria.

WATCH: Today's Daily Vertical

And he accused the United States of harassing Russian diplomats -- at a time when Moscow's harassment of American and Western diplomats is sharply escalating.

Now this, of course, is par for the course for the slick and smooth-talking Lavrov.

Over the years, he has decried separatism as Russia supported separatism.

He's defended self-determination as Russia violated its neighbors' self-determination.

And he's criticized extremism as Russia supported extremism.

Lavrov has mastered the dark art of diplomatic jujitsu, accusing the West of doing exactly what Russia is doing.

He can serve up lies, half-truths, and fabrications on a silver tongue, and he can do it with a wry smile, a nod, and a wink.

Here's the thing. Everybody knows this is a bunch of malarkey, but it doesn't matter.

In fact, that's almost the point.

In Lavrov, Vladimir Putin's regime has found the perfect spokesman for the post-truth state.

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