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West looking for pretexts to exert pressure on Russia — Lavrov

May 27, 2014, 14:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia is interested in crisis settlement in Ukraine and was not going to disrupt the May 25 presidential elections, Russian Foreign Minister stressed

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MOSCOW, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The West is looking for pretexts to exert pressure on Russia, but these attempts are ridiculous, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after a meeting of the Russian-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council. 

The attenpts to put pressure on Russia have never yielded results, Lavrov added.

Lavrov said that he had also heard the US statement regarding the Ukrainian debt for Russia’s natural gas, alleging that Russia’s actions in this sphere are illegitimate and sanctions may follow. “It is ridiculous, the people are engaged in the search for at least some little pretext for exerting pressure on us, it is laughable,” the minister stressed.

“As far as the Western sanctions are concerned, if there had been no Ukrainian issue, then something else would have been found,” Lavrov said. “Way before the tragic events in Kiev’s squares, before the radicals seized Kiev’s Independence Square, there had been many other attempts to find Russia's fault over Syria and Iran and the Winter Olympics. All this reflects some in-depth processes in the West," the minister explained.


Poroshenko unlikely to be welcomed in Donetsk

Lavrov said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is unlikely to see a warm welcome in the south-east of the country if the authorities make haste to suppress resistance there with heavy weaponry before his inauguration date.

"If they count on quashing resistance in the south-east with the help of National Guard, Right Sector and the like using heavy armaments before the expected inauguration of Petro Poroshenko, and on his coming to Donbass as the victor, I think it will hardly create good conditions for a warm welcome in the Donetsk Region," the minister stressed. “A real war is on there,” Lavrov said, noting that “he (Poroshenko) states that the so-called anti-terrorist operation should be ended as quickly as possible, but through its intensification.”

“It is needed to stop immediately combat actions and to do what Ukrainian authorities demand constantly from others - fulfill the Geneva statement of April 17 and a roadmap plan of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),” the Russian foreign minister noted.

“It is needed to develop a constitutional reform that will reflect lawful expectations and interests of all regions without exclusion, taking into account interests of all political, ethnic and confessional groups in Ukraine,” the Russian foreign minister added.


Russia interested in crisis settlement in Ukraine

Russia is interested in crisis settlement in Ukraine and was not going to disrupt the May 25 presidential elections, Lavrov stressed.

“We are interested in crisis settlement in Ukraine, cooperation with everybody who wants to cooperate, but we are interested not in legitimizing some part of Ukrainian society, but in taking into account the interests of all its parties, including in the south-east of the country,” Lavrov said.

Ukrainian newle-elected president Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Russia is not being considered and is not being debated through diplomatic or any other channels, Lavrov said.


Lavrov calls for investigation into crimes in Odessa, Kiev

Russia calls for an international probe into crimes in Ukraine, including in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odessa and the sniper shooting affair, Lavrov said.

“Mr Poroshenko said in an interview that he was interested in an international probe and that he was going to invite EU experts, including from Germany, as well as Russia, to participate in an investigation of the tragedy in the city of Odessa on May 2 (46 people were killed in riots in the city of Odessa on that day). Kiev authorities stated earlier about an intention to attract Israeli experts to investigate murders at the Maidan (protest movement in central Kiev) on February 18-20, the so-called sniper case,” Lavrov noted.

“We are waiting for Ukrainian authorities to proceed from pledges and statements to practical actions,” the foreign minister added.

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