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Lavrov: having recognized Maidan, West must recognize reunification of Crimea with Russia

March 30, 2014, 21:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"If they are ready to recognize one reality, they are simply obliged to recognize the other as well,” Russian Foreign Minister added

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MOSCOW, March 30. /ITAR-TASS/. If the West has recognized the Maidan [protest actions in Kiev’s central Independence Square], it has no other choice but to recognize the reality of the reunification of Crimea with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Sunday Time television programme anchored by Irada Zeinalova on Russia’s Channel One.

“Regrettably, I think it is a deliberate position [to turn a blind eye on the crimes committed by the Maidan activists]. Since the very beginning of the crisis in early November, when the absolutely legitimate, lawful decision of the incumbent Ukrainian president not to cancel but only to postpone the signing of an agreement with the European Union triggered protests on the maidan, with a tent camp, field kitchens, biotoilets and the like, when the maidan attracted rioters from the Right Sector and other radical organizations, we have been warning the Western countries against patronizing these processes,” he said. “They have been answering rather vaguely that it was a legal manifestation of civic positions. But back then, it was already clear that that these actions were gaining an openly anti-constitutional and anti-governmental character.”

“Later on, it turned into a state coup committed literally a day after the signing an agreement between President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition in the presence of three foreign ministers from the European Union,” Lavrov went on to say. “They then said it was a revolution and it was a reality to be reckoned with.”

“They have been telling us these words ever since when we stress the illegitimacy of what has happened and when we draw attention to the fact that the resolution of the PACE committee on legal affairs on the necessity to file a request with the Venice Commission about the legitimacy of what happened in Ukraine was blocked,” the Russian foreign minister noted. “The request has failed to reach the Venice Commission because of the manipulation with various protocol and organizational aspects of the activity of the Council of Europe. And now they are telling us again ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone,’ ‘it’s no use crying over spilt milk,’ ‘let bygones be bygones,’ ‘we now must think how to bring the situation into a constructive level, what can be done to have your decisions on Crimea be revoked.’”

“I am not exaggerating, they have been saying this up till now,” he said. “The answer is very simple. Even if we put aside any comparisons in respect of the legitimacy of what happened on the maidan and in Crimea [and I am confident that in the former case it was an illegal action and in the latter case it was the manifestation of people’s will, and the percent of those who voted in favour of joining Russia makes it impossible to question the voting result], even if we abstract our minds from the subject matter, any talk that what happened on the maidan was a reality and the Crimean developments cannot be recognized as a reality is beyond any criticism from the diplomatic point of view.”

It is an absolutely unscrupulous approach, Lavrov stressed. “If they are ready to recognize one reality, they are simply obliged to recognize the other as well,” he added.

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