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MOSCOW, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Developments in Ukraine have prompted an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said Monday at a discussion forum entitled “Russia and Europe: the Importance of Preserving Trust”.
“Of course, efforts to shatter trust began before yesterday, but events in Ukraine gave a very powerful impetus to an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign,” Naryshkin said.
“I need to state with regret that if someone planned to undermine confidence on the European continent — unfortunately, much has been done on that road over the past few months. This is the most serious threat to European security and cooperation today,” Naryshkin stressed.
He recalled that trust is a moral category, adding that “morals and politics go hand in hand, and attempts to detach one from the other often ended in sad circumstances, sometimes even catastrophes”.
“The history of Europe knows many examples of that, and Russia’s participation has often saved it from crises, while attempts to isolate Russia have on the contrary led to crises and disasters,” Naryshkin stated.
He expressed regret that “the lessons of history have been learned by far from everyone, and speculative statements about the so-called Russian threat can be heard again”.
“It is clear that this chorus is being directed from overseas, and the goal is also clear: to weaken the positions of Russia and all European countries,” Naryshkin said. Meanwhile, “the so-called Euro-Atlantic solidarity is becoming less European and more Atlantic,” he said.
Speaking about Ukraine, Naryshkin said the recent events in that country reduced Russia’s trust in its European partners. “For the sake of Maidan’s victory, the European Union literally turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to pro-Nazi tricks,” he said.
Maidan is the name for downtown Kiev's Independence Square, which is the symbol of Ukrainian protests. The words “Maidan” and “Euromaidan” are used as a collective name for anti-government protests in Ukraine that started when fromer President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union last year.
Later, Naryshkin said, European politicians “literally crossed out with their own hands their own guarantees to President Yanukovych”. “Already in spring, official Europe supported a punitive operation against the south-east of Ukraine, ignoring civilian casualties in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the politician said.
Finally, “two weeks ago, despite a truce, a ceasefire regime, which became possible in many respects due to a peace plan suggested by the Russian president, the European Union responded with a regular batch of anti-Russian sanctions”, Naryshkin said.
In his view, “none of these European decisions was inevitable or forced, so their immoral and illegitimate nature is seen even more distinctly”.
“Our position remains consecutive and unambiguous: the key thing is to avoid further escalation of the conflict, prevent a new cycle of violence and support the peace process by all means,” Naryshkin said.
“Both confidence and security on the European continent depend on this, and it is around this task that European political and public forces should team up and unite,” he said.