FIGHTING WORDS

Russia: Trump Administration Is Afraid of Fair Competition

Russia’s foreign minister lashed out at the U.S. on Monday for “dictating and issuing ultimatums” in its handling of global issues, a move the Kremlin says is destabilizing the world order. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the White House of using “questionable and unfair” methods to “keep rivals in check,” citing unilateral sanctions and America’s global ballistic missile defense system as examples of what he described as U.S. bullying. The White House’s threats to use military force in the North Korea crisis and pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran have also raised global tensions, he said, according to a transcript of his comments from Russia’s Foreign Ministry. Despite Trump’s rhetoric during his presidential campaign, he said, the idea of “American exceptionalism” voiced by former President Barack Obama and the “extraterritorial imposition of U.S. laws” have become “more intense and more pushy” under Trump in some areas. “There is a sense of fear of fair competition in the actions of the administration in a wide range of spheres,” Lavrov said, accusing the U.S. of trying to sabotage Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe.