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Lavrov: It is dangerous and counterproductive to force Ukraine into choosing sides

February 25, 2014, 13:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Moscow considers it premature to hold presidential elections in Ukraine in May, as it contradicts the agreement dated February 21
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© EPA/LASZLO BELICZAY

MOSCOW, February 25. /ITAR-TASS/. It is dangerous and counterproductive to try to force Ukraine into choosing the side – “with us or against us”, said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after a meeting with his Luxembourgian counterpart Jean Asselborn. “We want Ukraine to be part of the pan-European family,” Lavrov noted.

Russia and Luxembourg are “deeply concerned that continuing processes [in Ukraine] are not always developing in the right way, Lavrov noted. “We confirmed our principled position of non-interference into Ukraine’s internal affairs. We hope that everybody will adhere to similar positions and maintain contact will all political forces in Ukraine,” the foreign minister said.

A ban to Russian companies to broadcast in Ukraine will be a serious violation of freedom of speech, Lavrov stressed. “If this decision is taken in Ukraine, this will be a serious violation of freedom of speech,” he noted.

Moscow considers it premature to hold presidential elections in Ukraine in May, as it contradicts the agreement dated February 21, Lavrov emphasized. He said the agreement of February 21 envisaged the holding of a constitutional reform before September, with the presidential elections held only after that. The fact that the elections were fixed for May was “deviation from the agreements,” the foreign minister said.

The situation in Ukraine may be stabilized only by joint efforts of the EU and Russia, said Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn after the meeting with Lavrov.

It is vital to fight global extremism, including in Ukraine, Asselborn added. “We have no right to support extremists, those who use violence, Nazis,” the minister noted. “In Europe, people now know what this is. It is vital to fight all extremists, including those in Ukraine.” 

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