Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday declared “American exceptionalism” as one of the main causes of the current war in Ukraine.
Kremlin officials made the statement during an interview aired on Russian state TV. In an English translation provided by RT, a Russian state-controlled outlet, Lavrov said it was the United States government’s belief that the United States was a superior nation that led Washington to wage a “proxy war” against Russia through Ukraine.
Lavrov specifically mentions “American exceptionalism,” which is the belief that American principles are absolutely right. This belief is called by many people as the core of the nation’s identity.
He said that American leaders unfairly believe that the US is an “extraordinary nation, unlike any other in the world,” and thus try to lead the world fearing that there will be “chaos.”
“This exceptionalism, this absolute conviction of their infallibility and superiority – I believe that it is the main reason why we are now confronting the nations that are conducting a proxy war against us through the Kyiv regime,” Lavrov said, according to RT.
In his interview, Lavrov referred to an opinion story written by Jake Sullivan – the national security adviser to President Joe Biden – which was published by Atlantic in 2019.
“No vision of American exceptionalism can succeed if the United States does not defeat the emerging vision that emphasizes ethnic and cultural identity,” Sullivan wrote in the story, as noted by Lavrov.
The Russian official also referenced another passage from Sullivan that said: “A core goal of American foreign policy should be to protect and defend the American way of life.”
Lavrov said that such statements are “terrible” and deprive other nations of “the right to remember their history.”
He went on to say that the US government applies this philosophy in its relations with other countries.
“Just as they melted in the pot everyone who came to America, they now want to melt everyone, so they basically become Americans,” the foreign minister said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Lavrov condemned NATO for continuing to provide Kyiv with military and financial aid.
“The whole of NATO is fighting against us, and all the accusations and the mantra that ‘we are not fighting, but only armed’—it’s ridiculous,” he said.
As he did before, Lavrov also admitted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was being manipulated by Western countries.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.