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MOSCOW, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. “It is high time for the European Union to understand that not Russia was behind the crisis in Ukraine, but actions of certain Ukrainian political forces and their foreign mentors,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“A bid of Brussels to push Ukraine as well as other states of Eastern Partnership ‘in the focus of attention’ towards an artificial choice between the EU and Russia triggered to a great extent a deep political crisis inside that country, that resulted in an anti-constitutional coup in Kiev,” the ministry said.
“It is deplorable that the European Union has so unequivocally dismissed the results of the referendum in Crimea, held with an unprecedentedly high voter turnout. Brussels preferred to turn a blind eye to the fact that a real alternative between confirming a bid to join Russia and stay within Ukraine had been offered to the Crimean residents,” he continued.
“We urge the EU to stop ignoring and distorting real facts, to give up an open use of double standards for the sake of geopolitical interests,” the ministry said, adding that “these approaches prevent constructive cooperation between Russia and the European Union in the issues of ensuring stability and prosperity in Europe”.
“Attempts to speak the language of force with Russia, to threaten Russian citizens with sanctions lead to nothing. Taking restrictive measures - it is not our choice, but it is clear that sanctions imposed against us will not remain without an adequate answer from Russia,” the ministry said.
It confirmed Russia’s readiness to cooperate with all international partners, sincerely interested in normalization of the situation in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry has said.
“At the present time, consultations are in progress in Vienna on the mandate of an OSCE monitoring mission, and the Russian side takes most constructive part in them,” the ministry said. “Besides, a Russian offer on a support group for Ukraine delivered to our key partners could contribute to the formation of a comprehensive mechanism of assistance in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,” it said.