MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. Russia is not going to wage war against Ukraine but will respond in kind, if Kiev carries out a provocation on the border with Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station on Monday.
"We will not wage war against Ukraine, I promise you," he vowed.
He stressed that Ukraine’s domestic problems were "much broader and deeper" than just the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR, LPR). That’s why Russia cannot just recognize the DPR and LPR, as that would be tantamount to leaving the rest of Ukraine in the hands of the Nazi regime.
"You want to recognize the LPR and DPR? And what’s next? To lose the rest of Ukraine and abandon it to the Nazis?" he said, when asked why Russia refused to recognize these self-proclaimed republics.
He noted though that Kiev was plotting more incitement on the border with Russia. "I am sure there will be more provocations," he warned. ""[Ukrainian President Pyotr] Poroshenko is planning an armed provocation on the border with Russia, on the border with Crimea during the last ten days of December."
The minister vowed that Russia would not leave that unanswered. "The answer is: they will regret it. This is our country, this is our border. We will not allow him [Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko] to try to somehow protect his interests, the way he sees it, and violate those rights that Crimeans defended in full accordance with international law," Lavrov stressed.
Russia’s top diplomat pointed out that the current regime in Kiev was similar to that of neo-Nazis.
"We are not fighting the Ukrainian regime. It is Ukrainian citizens living in Donbass who are fighting against the Ukrainian regime, which has full Nazi and neo-Nazi characteristics," Lavrov pointed out.According to Russia’s data, Poroshenko has been discussing the upcoming provocation on the border with Crimea with his Western sponsors. "They advise him to keep low intense combat actions to enable them to go ahead with propaganda that Russians are carrying out an offensive against Ukraine and that’s why Russia needs to be hit by sanctions, but military actions should never switch into a phase that will be followed by full-scale responses," Lavrov stressed.
Russia’s top diplomat emphasized that Kiev’s provocations are ongoing. "Our respective services are making all necessary efforts to thwart these incidents."
The Minsk agreements are the only way of overcoming the crisis in the Donbass region, he said.
"There is no alternative to the Minsk agreements," the minister stressed. "I said the same thing the year before last as well."
In response to a journalist’s remark that the Minsk agreements are allegedly not working, he said, "The UN Charter has likewise been violated on numerous occasions, and it is does not work many times either. However, it is impermissible to give in to panic."
Lavrov said the current Ukrainian regime is similar to that of neo-Nazis.
"We are not fighting against the Ukrainian regime. These are Ukrainian citizens living in Donbass, who are fighting against the Ukrainian regime, which has all characteristics of Nazis and neo-Nazis," Lavrov said.
When asked why Moscow is not severing ties with Kiev, Lavrov stressed: "We have relations with the Ukrainian state, the Ukrainian state is much more and more important for us than that regime, which is currently in power thanks to the West’s betrayal of all norms of the international law and international behavior."
"The Ukrainian people have nothing to do with it, and I’m sure that most Ukrainian citizens wish peace to their country and want it to get rid of this shameful regime and resume normal ties with Russia," he said.
To this aim, Ukraine’s domestic problems need to be settled, which are "much broader and deeper than simply the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic.".