MOSCOW, March 07, 23:00 /ITAR-TASS/. Events taking place in Crimea and eastern regions of Ukraine are not products of Russia’s activity in any way, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of President Vladimir Putin said Friday as he spoke live on the air over Rossiya One television channel.
“These are not the manmade processes that could be resultant from Russia’s actions,” he said.
Russia cannot seat idle at a time when danger is looming over the Russians living in Ukraine, since Russia is the guarantor of the Russian-speaking civilization, Peskov said.
He also pointed out Putin’s popularity rating that was breaking all the records. This is a unique situation when a country leader’s ranking is rising on the background of turbulent developments.
Many experts are drawing up forecasts of developments in Ukraine at present, Peskov said, adding that “President Putin said from the very start of events in Ukraine before the beginning of the New Year he would espouse stringently the principle of non-interference in Ukraine’s affairs and he was one of the few European leaders to do so.”
“And is President Putin who is abiding by that principle persistently - he didn’t send his ministers to the Maidan for taking strolls among the revels, supporting the people holding weapons in their hands, and instigating those who were showering the police with gunfire,” Peskov said.
“He was just keeping silent and not interfering in any way,” he said.
Peskov recalled that Putin had been keeping silent for quite some time because any word on his part would have been taken as an act of pressure and an attempt to channel actions into the alley that was appropriate from Russia’s angle of view.
“He was keeping silent and not interfering in any way,” Peskov said.
“Unfortunately, that’s what we can’t say at all about our European partners who acted in an exactly opposite way,” he said.
“If you proceed from the West’s stance, you can recognize any governments that come to power on the point of bayonets because it’s simply impossible the position taken by our Western partners,” Peskov said.
That is why it is difficult to say now, which Ukrainian authorities will be recognized by the West.
“I don’t know now whether there’ll a march on Kiev or whether there’ll be none and it’s up to the fraternal people but it’s also obvious we treat with full understanding the fears spreading across eastern Ukraine now,” Peskov said.
“Just strain your imagination to see what happens if the people who stood behind the coup in Kiev get to the East or to Crimea,” he said. “I don’t think they will confine their actions to just putting pressure on those who oppose them.”
Peskov said he would rather predict that “outright purges would begin there” and that is why the people living in Crimea and the East are frightened and scared and - most importantly - prepared to defend themselves.”
“These people are equally legitimate in their preparedness (for defending themselves) as the people who took part in protests on the Maidan before they were overwhelmed by armed extremists,” Peskov said.
“Before the burning of tires and the throwing of Molotov cocktails at the police began, the protests were absolutely legitimate processes and the Kiev authorities - legitimate authorities - treated them in an entirely balanced way,” he said.