Jeremić for RT in Saint Petersburg: If the West Had Listened to Messages from Moscow, There Would Be No War in Ukraine

Saint Petersburg, June 6, 2024 - Vuk Jeremić, President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD) and former President of the UN General Assembly, stated today that the war in Ukraine might have been avoided if Western capitals had taken the messages from Moscow seriously several years ago.

"I sincerely hope they start taking seriously what is being said," Jeremić told RT in Saint Petersburg, where he is participating in the International Economic Forum.

When asked if the West will take Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement seriously—regarding the possibility of Russia considering sending weapons to states that could use them against those supporting Ukraine—Jeremić expressed hope that this time the messages from Moscow will be taken more seriously. He emphasized that reason should prevail and that concern for potential future developments should outweigh short-term political calculations, thus avoiding actions that could lead to escalation.

"If that doesn't happen, only God knows where this could lead us," Jeremić said.

"The current issue is who controls the escalation ladder, as they hold an advantage over the opposing side. However, there are few safe and controllable paths of escalation, and the situation is even more concerning considering both the West and Russia possess nuclear weapons," Jeremić added.

Regarding his impressions of the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Jeremić noted the event's dynamism and confidence.

"The forum is an innovative and dynamic place, and it certainly doesn't look like a gathering in a country under strict sanctions that have severely impacted its economy," Jeremić said.

"My first impression from the forum is that the sanctions against Russia have not achieved the goals envisioned by those who imposed them," Jeremić emphasized.

When asked about the BRICS' reaction to Western sanctions against Russia, Jeremić responded that BRICS cannot yet be considered a bloc in the full sense but rather a group of states that have decided to work together on certain issues.

"At this moment, BRICS does not yet have the structures formed to act on issues like sanctions. Instead, it is about the bilateral relations of BRICS founders and other members with Russia, which means the sanctions have not significantly affected Russia," Jeremić said.

"In my panel presentation at the International Economic Forum, I highlighted that in the future, the formation of structures within BRICS should certainly be considered. For instance, establishing a secretariat that would contribute to institutional responses to many important issues," Jeremić concluded.

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