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Protests in south-eastern Ukraine an internal crisis — Russian senior lawmaker

April 15, 2014, 14:43 UTC+3
Russia understands protesters in the south-east of Ukraine, supports them politically but is not interfering, Alexei Pushkov noted
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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

PARIS, April 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The ongoing protests in south-eastern Ukraine are its internal crisis, Russia’s senior lawmaker said.

“No matter how strong Russia as a country is, it could not have organized multi-thousand protests in a matter of several months,” Chairman of the State Duma (lower house of Russian parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said after meetings with French colleagues on Tuesday.

“Russia understands these people [protesters in the south-east of Ukraine], supports them politically but is not interfering,” he said.

“France wants Russia to recognize the current Ukrainian government de-facto. However, our arguments that this government came to power unconstitutionally and is not supported by a part of people are rejected,” Pushkov said.

French MPs, primarily from the ruling Socialist Party, say that this is “an interim government and it will go soon”, he said, adding that there is a belief in France that the political process in Ukraine “could be more or less normal if it were not for Russia”. “The West claims that everything is fine in Ukraine and it is Russia that is stirring up trouble,” he said.

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