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EU sanctions vs. Russia pose absolutely unfriendly course — Foreign Ministry spokesman

September 11, 2014, 16:25 UTC+3

Alexander Lukashevich has also made several statements regarding the planned extension of EU sanctions, NATO plans in Ukraine, the investigation of the MH17 crash

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Alexander Lukashevich

Alexander Lukashevich

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

MOSCOW, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Situation around Ukraine takes serious turn towards settlement, spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich has stated on Thursday.

He has also made several statements regarding the planned extension of EU sanctions, NATO plans in Ukraine, the investigation of the MH17 crash, as well as on the policy of current Kiev authorities towards Russia.

On NATO exercises in Ukraine

According to Lukashevich, “A number or statements that require a response have been made by Alexander Vershbow, American deputy secretary general of NATO, in particular, “Russia is not a ‘troubled’ neighbour, but a state actively undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” “Such statements by the alliance leadership are not something new, and we have more than once drawn attention to the words of ‘flying off the handle’ outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.”

“Such irresponsible statements go in line with the decisions and documents, adopted at the recent NATO summit in Wales in which attempts are made to place on Russia the lion’s share of responsibility for the developments in Ukraine and thus justify the need of the alliance’s activity intensification near the Russian borders, including NATO infrastructure expansion in Eastern Europe,” Lukashevich said.

“This is very similar to the ‘cold war’ logic, while everybody hoped that such logic had long been abandoned,” he added. “In addition, it is absolutely clear that by such statements and decisions NATO is adopting the line for its infrastructure advancement to the East and boosting the alliance forces near the Russian borders.”

“We will, naturally, adequately respond to this,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

According to him, it is characteristic that the anti-Russian rhetoric surge is observed “with each appearance of any positive elements in the situation in Ukraine and in a number of other regions.”

Russia hopes that “a serious turn from the armed confrontation to political settlement has happened” in Ukraine.

“The announced plans to conduct NATO joint manoeuvres with Kiev in Ukraine by the end of the year cause surprise,” Lukashevich said. “Such actions are really fraught with mounting tension and are capable of jeopardizing the shaping up Ukrainian peace process,” he added.

However, he has pointed out that Russia does not abandon cooperation with NATO, is ready to work with it in any formats, within the scope of of the Russia-NATO Council, in particular.

"We have stated more than once that we do not abandon cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance, and ready to work in any formats, within the scope of the Russia-NATO Council, in particular, and ready to conduct a frank dialogue," the diplomat said.

This cooperation, he said, can be "carried out in such spheres as fight against various challenges of our time -- such as terrorism, trafficking in narcotics, etc". "However, such cooperation is possible only provided our national interests are taken into consideration," Lukashevich emphasized.

On EU sanctions

The European Union’s sanctions earlier imposed against Russia pose an absolutely unfriendly line and contradict EU’s interests, Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday.

“This is an absolutely unfriendly line, which also contradicts interests of the European Union,” Lukashevich said.

“Russia repeatedly stated at various levels that we will resort to adequate measures and our response would be absolutely proportional to EU measures,” he added.

On MH17 crash investigation

Moscow has the impression that international commission under pressure from certain Western forces is intentionally dragging out MH17 crash investigation, Alexander Lukashevich stated.

He added that the chosen MH17 crash criminal investigation scheme, based on Ukraine's agreements with a number of countries poorly meets due criteria.

Status of DPR and LPR

A future status of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) is a matter of negotiations between Kiev and Donbass, Lukashevich said on Thursday.

He recalled that the Minsk protocol declared these areas of Ukraine as parties to the conflict and "this is an important statement in itself".

“As for identifying their status, including the future status, it is a matter of negotiations between Kiev and Donbass, which is stated in the protocol,” the diplomat said. “We do hope that Ukrainians will have a chance to determine the status of their territories on their own."

No Russian troops in Ukraine

No Russian troops are fighting in south-eastern Ukraine, Lukashevich said on Thursday. “There were no and there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. The Russian army is not fighting there,” he said.

“There are volunteers who cannot stay away from the suffering and events unfolding in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the spokesperson said.

He noted the presence of a large number of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. “No one has asked on the basis of which international legal norms mercenaries are fighting as members of the regular Ukrainian army,” Lukashevich said.

Kiev’s ban on Russian TV broadcasts a political step

Moscow sees Kiev’s decision to ban Russian TV channels from broadcasting in Ukraine as an openly political step, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, I have to say that the Ukrainian leadership keeps ignoring appeals by different international organisations and journalists’ unions, and augments efforts to maintain tough administrative control over media, openly preventing an objective coverage of events in the country,” the diplomat said.

“We see this as being at variance with rules of international law and as an openly political decision,” Lukashevich added.

“This testifies to the fact that Ukraine’s security agencies consistently deprive the population of an opportunity to get an alternative point of view on developments in the country,” he said.

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