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No one wins from Ukraine clashes - Russian senator

February 18, 2014, 22:27 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. If clashes between opposition supporters and law enforcement forces continue in the Ukrainian capital, no one will win from this, and the entire country will suffer, a senior Russian senator said on Tuesday.

“Current clashes in Kiev may lead to an uncontrolled scenario, and it will be impossible to put the genie back into the bottle,” Andrei Klimov, a deputy chairman of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, warned in an interview with Itar-Tass.

Ukraine has been hit by anti-government protests that at times turned into riots since the authorities refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union at a summit in Vilnius in November 2013 and opted for closer ties with Russia instead. A new wave of riots occurred in Kiev on Tuesday, and Svoboda opposition party leader Oleg Tyagnibok said it was caused by failure to agree on a constitutional reform which limits presidential powers.

“The Ukrainian authorities had a chance to stop seizures of administrative buildings in the capital and other cities by legal means. The opposition was given a chance to vacate the seized buildings and dismantle barricades by February 16,” Klimov said.

“Instead, the radical wing of protesters, receiving a call from their puppet masters, tried to push through to the building of Verkhovna Rada and provoked clashes with law enforcement officers,” the senator said.

As a co-chairman of the Russia-EU parliamentary cooperation committee, Klimov expressed confidence that police in all EU capitals would prevent protesters from attacking administrative buildings and the ruling party’s headquarters, like in Kiev.

The senator said “EU politicians who are making approaches at Ukrainian opposition leaders inspired them to commit illegal acts.”

Klimov lamented that “many Ukrainian nationals, after listening to fairytales about cancelation of European visas for Ukrainian citizens and quick prosperity from association with the EU, gave in to calls from irresponsible politicians and went on to storm and destroy buildings in Kiev.”

“The responsibility of any authorities is to ensure execution of their own laws in strict compliance with international and domestic norms. This would be beneficial for opposition representatives as well, if they care about Ukraine,” the Russian senator concluded.

The Ukrainian leadership decided to pardon participants of riots on the condition that protesters vacated state and local power institutions they seized within 15 days. The deadline was to expire on February 17. The initial reaction of opposition leaders to the amnesty law that entered into force February 2 was defiant and skeptical.

Kiev’s police reported Tuesday that the building of the city state administration had been seized again by protesters who threw Molotov cocktails. Earlier, protesters held the building for over 2.5 months, but vacated it on February 16 to comply with the amnesty law.


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