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PETROPAVLOVSK KAMCHATSKY, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has no intention to incorporate south-eastern regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“We can have no such intentions. This would run counter to the vital interests of Russia,” he said in a special issue of Vladimir Solovyov’s show on the Rossiya 1 television channel.
Lavrov also thinks that there is no need to deploy peacekeepers in Ukraine. “I don’t think we should talk about peacekeepers or UN Security Council decisions for that matter,” the minister said.
He believes that “the present Ukrainian authorities should realise their responsibility for their country and invite all regions, without exception, to start a dialogue,” he said.
Russia doesn't have any servicemen in southern Ukraine
There are neither Russian troops nor agents of Russian secret services in southeastern Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“We don’t have either our servicemen or our agents there,” Lavrov said. “There are Russian citizens there and some of them have been shown in a chain of newscasts and programs. A guy who came from (the southern Russian city of) Volgograd, for instance, and some other people who came from other places, but I see no surprise in it.”
“If you recall the Maidan (Kiev’s notorious Independence Square that was the epicenter of amassed oppositionist protests and violent street actions from the end of last November through to March - ITAR-TASS), you could see all sorts of creatures there, even some obscure Swedish extremists but nothing of the kind is happening in the southeast of Ukraine,” Lavrov added.
“We’re accused of having placed some secret agents there but we didn’t place anyone and there are no Russian servicemen there either by convention,” Lavrov said. “Still, there are people who were driven to the point of despair. When they hoisted Russian flags and crying out ‘Putin please save us from the fascists,’ this was the guilt of those in Kiev who had declared themselves a government.”
“You just can’t shirk communications with people,” he said.
“As the call, so the echo”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has recommended Russia’s Western partners to finally realize that international relations should be based on reciprocity and that “as the call, so the echo.”
“What we are having now, and we know it only too well, that ahead of voting at the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution in support of the so-to-say sovereignty of Ukraine, including Crimea, is an anti-Russian step,” he told the special issue of the Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov programme on Russia 1 television channel on Friday. “US ambassadors skipped no capital city and in each of these cities they used to say in a rather insolent manner: ‘You must vote in favour of this resolution!’ And threatened and blackmailed those who said they did not share this point of view - we are aware of that. I cannot list the countries and furnish the names, but it is what is going on.”
But now, there are visible and invisible sanctions bordering on absurd, when journalists are banned to do their jobs. Apart from what is seen on the surface, we know that envoys have been commissioned to every corner of the world and that American and European ambassadors have been tasked to force various countries to freeze normal every-day working contacts with our representatives Sergey Lavrov Russia's Foreign Minister
“But now, there are visible and invisible sanctions bordering on absurd, when journalists are banned to do their jobs,” Lavrov went on to say. “Apart from what is seen on the surface, we know that envoys have been commissioned to every corner of the world and that American and European ambassadors have been tasked to force various countries to freeze normal every-day working contacts with our representatives. Here, in Moscow, EU and US ambassadors also seem to have agreed to reduce communication with us on the issues they think are of interest for us and proceeding from the fact that they are sure to communicate with us on issues of interest for them.”
The minister called to “realize a very simple thing that international relations are based on reciprocity and that as the call, so the echo.” “We are not going to take revenge on anyone, to do anything to spite anyone, we will simply be showing balanced approaches to the concrete situation that emerge,” he added.
“By the way, when arrogant statements are made about some new sanctions against us, it is often funny to hear what follows them,” he noted. “For instance, NATO announced the freezing of the majority of practical projects, including the helicopter project for Afghanistan. But this is the project that is geared to jointly ensure the servicing of Soviet and Russian rotorcraft, spare part deliveries and training of pilots and maintenance personnel. But after announcing these sanctions, one of the NATO secretary general’s deputies told a journalist that the alliance was aware that this was a very important sphere in terms of practical results and that the alliance would try to find ways to continue cooperation in this sphere in other formats.”
“It means that the Russia-NATO Council would stay away from this project, whereas NATO member countries would have to look for ways to continue such projects under another umbrella,” he explained. “It only proves the groundlessness of such approaches, their ‘cut- off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face’ logic.