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Lavrov responds to accusations of Russia’s violating Budapest Memorandum

February 10, 10:36 UTC+3
The minister noted that the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance says that all signatories to the memorandum will be further guided by the principles of the OSCE
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© Oksana Toskic/TASS

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Accusations of Russia’s non-observance of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance are just an "example of dirty play" as liabilities under this document were violated by those who were behind the state coup in Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily on Wednesday.

"Indeed, we said the only concrete liability under this memorandum was that neither Russia nor Great Britain nor the United States will ever use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. They say Russia was lying when it hushed up another liability allegedly fixed in that document, but in fact it only says that all signatories to the memorandum will be further guided by the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including those related to territorial integrity, sovereignty and non-interference into domestic affairs. They are claiming that Russia has violated these principles and its foreign ministry is hushing this fact up and is even lying that Russia has implemented the entire Budapest Memorandum," the Russian foreign minister said. "

"The OSCE principles authorize no one to stage state coups, they prohibit to entrench upon ethnic and language minorities," he stressed. "So, these principles were flagrantly violated by the coupists who staged a state coup in Ukraine."

Calls for another referendum in Crimea are hypocrisy

According to Lavrov, any talk about another referendum on Crimea’s future is nothing but dissimulation.

"The referendum might have been prepared more thoroughly and more observiers might have been engaged," he said. "They [Western partners - TASS] ask us why we organized it in a span of just one week. We answer that there was a direct military threat, bandits were rushing there in trains with weapons in their hands threatening to uproot ethnic Russians from there."

"Now one can cavil about some legal or technical aspects of what has happened but no one can deny the referendum results. Even the Americans are whispering us in the ear: ‘You’d better organize another referendum, with all due squiggles and vignettes - you’d get the same result but all the rest will sigh in relief,’" he said. "It is nothing but pure hypocrisy!"

Those who indulge in fault-finding about the referendum’s legal and quasi-legal aspects are turning a blind eye on the violation of laws when Crimea was ceded to Ukraine in 1956. Moreover, they suggest this fact be forgotten for good, he noted.

The Russian top diplomat underscored he has no fears about Crimea’s future, since life will compel foreign partners to ultimately recognize the results of the expression of will in Crimea. "More and more Europeans, including lawmakers and businessmen are coming to Crimea. Some seek to make fast money as there is high demand for foreign investments now. But more and more people - lawmakers, journalists - are coming there to see what is going on there with their own eye," Lavrov said.

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