Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov
Lavrov Answer: We are deeply concerned about the events in Ukraine. We have cautioned about such a development of eventsmany times. The Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have provided their principled assessments of the situation in the country today. Unfortunately, all the agreements reached when Ukraine showed good will, readiness to search for compromises and to implement part of their obligations have been disrupted by radical oppositionists, who organised a campaign against the Verkhovna Rada. When they were not allowed in for known reasons (this action was not sanctioned) they started to throw Molotov cocktails at policemen and use firearms. As you know, there are significant numbers of killed and wounded. Thefacts show that these radicals not only have light weapons, but also grenade launchers. This is very serious. Attempts to occupy administrative buildings, the prosecutor’s office building, police and military units, are continuing.
We cannot describe this otherwise than as an attempt at a coup d’état and to seize power by force. Certainly, the extremists are guilty, they have been attempting to bring the situation to a force scenario for weeks and months. The opposition,by refusing compromises and setting requirements for powers outside the legal framework, are also seriously responsible for not being able to fulfil their agreements, including in the Rada.
I cannot leave aside the responsibility of the West (at least many Western countries), who attempted to interfere with these events in all possible ways, supported actions of the opposition outside the legal framework, and sometimes even made passes at militants, set ultimatums, threatened to enforce sanctions and still continue to do so, and generally, supported provocative actions. At the same time, they insistently and consistently shied away from any principled assessments of the extremists’ actions, including Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic manifestations – we have drawn their attention to this many times and warned about the dangers of such a position, “of burying their heads like an ostrich”.
Now they are attempting to unfairly shift the blame on us. We hear accusations from some western political actors that Russia is attempting to “re-Sovietize”, the post-Soviet space is guilty of everything. These are attempts using improper means. Any observer who has at least a bit of common sense and is unprejudiced,can easily understand this.
We confirm that the situation must be settled within the framework of constitutional prerogatives by the acting powers of Ukraine and we caution against any attempts at insistent mediation. We have observed such attempts many times – it seems to me that our European partners have already had enough of mediation. In this situation, we appeal to everybody to place the interests of Ukraine and its people above personal geopolitical plans.