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Sanctions against Ukraine blackmail, double standards – Moscow

February 20, 2014, 15:59 UTC+3 BAGHDAD

Moscow commented on the West's intention of imposing sanctions against Ukrainian officials

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Sergei Lavrov (left) with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari

Sergei Lavrov (left) with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari

© EPA/Ahmed Saad / POOL

BAGHDAD, February 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The West’s threat to impose sanctions on Ukraine is a blackmail and double standards, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“The opposition cannot or does not want to dissociate itself from extremists. The USA assumes all responsibility on Ukraine’s authorities. These are double standards,” Lavrov said, adding “America’s sanctions encourage rioters.”

“The EU is also trying to discuss sanctions and sending missions to Ukraine,” the Russian minister said.

“Such actions can be considered a blackmail,” he said.

“As for the West’s accusations against Russia, there is a proverb saying an uneasy conscience betrays itself. We voice deep concern about the events in Ukraine. We’re worried about the Western capitals giving influencing the situation in the country,” the Russian minister said.

“The situation is interpreted wrong. Mass media circulate reports saying the West urges the government not to disperse Maidan although the West prefers to keep silent on Maidan’s essence,” he said, adding “The West gives no comment on throwing of cocktail bombs or seizing of buildings.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia’s government will fulfil the promises it has made to Ukrainian partners, if the authorities are legitimate and effective.

“Of course, we will continue cooperation with Ukrainian partners in all directions we have agreed on and will try to do our utmost to fulfil our promises,” he said.

“At the same time we need to see our partners keeping themselves in good shape and the authorities remaining legitimate and effective,” he said. “We proceed from an assumption that the authorities should focus on protection of people and law enforcement structures that defend interests of the state and people.”

Earlier Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich commented on the United States’ intention to take unilateral measures against Ukraine’s political leadership, saying sanctions can't be aimed at individuals and should be approved by the UN Security Council.

"The United Nations alone can adopt and implement restrictive measures towards other states. In that sense we firmly adhere to the assumed commitments,” the diplomat said. Lukashevich emphasised, that from the standpoint of international law such measures are absolutely illegitimate and many other UNSC member states think likewise.

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