March 30, 2014
The West is inconsistent in not recognizing the Crimea referendum as legitimate, while recognizing the military coup in Kiev, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said. He accused the EU and US of duplicity and described sanctions as a “dead-end track.”
If the West accepts Kiev’s coup-appointed government then it must, in turn, accept the legitimacy of Crimea’s referendum to join with Russia, Lavrov said in an interview Sunday.
“Even if you put aside the issue of legitimacy where Maidan and Crimea are concerned (though I am convinced that the Kiev coup goes against the rule of law, while Crimea referendum was the will of the people, and to contest such an overwhelming number of votes in favor of joining Russia is impossible). From a diplomatic point of view, it doesn’t make sense to recognize what happened on Maidan as legitimate, while at the same time claiming what happened in Crimea is illegitimate,” Lavrov told Irada Zeinalova, the host of the “Sunday Time” analytical program on Russia’s Channel One TV.
“If they are willing to accept the first event as legitimate, then surely they are obliged to acknowledge the second.”
Sanctions against Russia by Western states aren’t able to resolve the Russia-Ukraine crisis. They resemble an attempt to express one’s insult in a decent manner, Sergey Lavrov said.
“Speaking of sanctions – that is the dead-end track,” Lavrov said. “There’s a feeling that our western partners have for a long time created conditions for ‘tearing’ Ukraine from Russia. When they understood they were wrong and made a mistake, by undertaking actions which undermined agreements reached following the collapse of the Soviet Union, they could not acknowledge that. The falsely understood feeling of pride hampered them from doing so. All of the sanctions we are witnessing now resemble an attempt to express one’s insult in a decent manner.”
Lavrov said he was concerned with reports that the EU might make a decision to give Schengen visas to Crimeans only at Ukrainian embassies and only on condition they submit a Ukrainian passport.
“This is unacceptable. This is the gravest violation of human rights,” Lavrov said. “People who live in Crimea and have chosen Russian citizenship have nothing to do with geopolitics. They want to live in the country which meets their cultural and linguistic demands, their so-called ‘genetic heritage.’ If the European Union does anything like that, I’m sure we will respond to it so that the EU understands the unacceptability of the gravest human rights violation.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister said he knew that some of the countries were pressurized into approving the UN General Assembly resolution on Ukraine.
“The pressure that was exerted [on UN member states] in connection with this resolution was the strongest,” Lavrov said. “We know that there have not only been requests to vote in favor of the resolution, which is clearly of a provocative nature. There might have been no threats, but there have been hints at possible consequences. Like the country which will not obey, will lose a certain loan or will have a certain official visit canceled.”
Moscow has information about the Ukrainian far-right movement Right Sector being behind the snipers shooting people on Maidan, Lavrov said.
“I cannot affirm with absolute determination, but there are a good deal of facts that point to this. Certainly, it is needed to recheck them. I hope that an investigation which current Ukrainian leaders announced will be finalized and will not be swept under the carpet,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov said he was hoping for Russia’s European and US partners to urge Kiev get rid of the radical movements and to have all of the illegal weapons handed over to law enforcement agencies.
The Minister also criticized the West for duplicity and inconsistency in their statements over the situation in Ukraine.
“Inviting us to [engage in] dialogue and pledging to us their commitment to facilitate the stabilization of the situation, our partners are not being fully consistent, as simultaneously, speaking at international forums, including the UN General Assembly, they encourage very confrontational and quarrelsome statements, which border on insults and clearly do not promote the right atmosphere for normal dialogue. This ambivalence and duplicity is very obstructive.”
This article was posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 6:37 am