Top Russian Official Blames America's Values for Sparking Ukraine War

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday cited "American exceptionalism" as one of the principal causes for the current war in Ukraine.

The Kremlin official made the statement during an interview that aired on Russian state TV. In an English translation provided by RT, a Russian state-controlled outlet, Lavrov said it was the American government's belief that the United States is a superior nation that has led to Washington waging "a proxy war" against Russia through Ukraine.

Lavrov specifically mentioned "American exceptionalism," which is the belief that American principles are inherently right. This belief is named by many people as being core to the nation's identity.

He said that American leaders unjustly believe that the U.S. is "an exceptional nation, unlike any other in the world," and thus try to lead the world in fear that there will otherwise be "chaos."

"This exceptionalism, this absolute conviction of their infallibility and superiority—I am certain that it is the main reason why we are now confronting the nations that wage a proxy war against us through the Kyiv regime," Lavrov said, according to RT.

Sergei Lavrov in Kazakhstan
In the main image, Russian Foeign Minister Sergey Lavrov is seen on October 13, 2022, in Astana, Kazakhstan. The smaller image shows an American flag on the back of a ferry on January 8, 2022, in New York City. Lavrov on Thursday said "American exceptionalism" is one of the causes of the war in Ukraine. Photos by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

During his interview, Lavrov referenced an opinion story written by Jake Sullivan— national security adviser to President Joe Biden—that was published by The 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: "The core purpose of American foreign policy must be to protect and defend the American way of life."

Lavrov said such statements are "terrible" and take away from other nations "the right to remember their history."

He went on to claim that the U.S. government applies this philosophy in its relations to other countries.

"Just like they melted in a pot everyone who arrived in America, they now want to melt everyone else, so they essentially become Americans," the foreign minister said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Lavrov condemned NATO for continuing to supply Kyiv with military and financial aid.

"The whole of NATO is fighting against us, and all those allegations and incantations that 'we are not fighting, but only arming'—this is ridiculous," he said.

As he has before, Lavrov also claimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is being manipulated by Western countries.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.